UK Department of Anatomy
LOTHAR H. JENNES, Ph.D.
Paris Lodron University, Salzburg, Austria (1978)
Postdoctoral Training at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U 156, Lille, France and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.
Research Interests: Neuroendocrine Regulation of Reproduction
Dr. Jennes' research focuses on the identification of the neuroendocrine mechanisms which control female reproduction and which initiate menopause. The work centers around gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) which is synthesized by a relatively small number of neurons in the septal - preoptic area and transported to the axon terminals in the mediobasal hypothalamus. Here, GnRH is released into fenestrated capillaries and carried through the blood to the anterior pituitary where GnRH stimulates the release and synthesis of LH and FSH. Dr. Jennes' research seeks to identify the neurotransmitters and the receptor subtypes which regulate GnRH expression and release. He currently studies currently monoamine, amino acid transmitter and neuropeptide receptor mRNA expression in GnRH neurons to determine which neurotransmitter activates directly specific membrane receptors on GnRH neurons. In addition to this hormonal action, GnRH has important effects inside the brain where it is involved in the facilitation of certain reproductive behaviors. Dr. Jennes recently identified and characterized specific membrane receptors for GnRH in the central nervous system and is currently studying the intracerebral effects of GnRH. He focuses on the characterization of second messenger systems that are activated by GnRH binding and on the regulation of GnRH receptor mRNA expression by gonadal steroids. Using transgenic animal models and gene chip technologies, his lab seeks to establish gene expression profiles of individual GnRH neurons during different developmental and physiological stages. The combination of morphological, physiological and molecular biological provides detailed information on the intracerebral mechanisms regulating the GnRH neuronal system and is important for basic understanding of how the brain participates in the regulation of hormonal homeostasis.
Eyigor, O., A. Centers, and L. Jennes. Distribution of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit mRNAs in the rat hypothalamus. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 434: 101-124, 2001
Smith, M., J. and L. Jennes. Neural signals directly regulating GnRH neurons during the oestrous cycle. Reproduction, 122: 1261-1273, 2001.
Jennes, L. and Conn, P.M. Gondadotropin releasing hormone. In: Hormones, Brain and Behavior. D.W. Pfaff, ed., Academic Press 4, 51-79, 2002.
Jennes, L., W.Lin, and S. Laklani. Glutamatergic regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons. Progr. In Brain Research 141, 2002.
Temel, S.G., W. Lin, S. Laklani, and L. Jennes. Expression of TH, DBH, PNMT, Estrogen receptor alpha and C Fos in noradrenergic and adrenergic brainstem neurons of young and middle aged rats during the steroid induced LH surge. Endocrinology 143, 3974-3983, 2002.
Lin, W., K. McKinney, L. Liu, S. Laklani, and L. Jennes. Distribution of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 mRNA and protein in the septum hypothalamus of the rat. Endocrinology, 144, 662-670, 2003.
Eyigor, O., Lin, W. and L. Jennes. Localization of glutamatergic neurons that express estrogen receptor alpha in the hypothalamus of the female rat. Endocrinology, submitted.
Lin, W. and L. Jennes. Gene expression profiles of prepubertal male and female gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons. Endocrinology, submitted.
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