Elizabeth D. Kirby

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The subjective experience of stress leads to reproductive dysfunction in many species, including rodents and humans. Stress effects on reproduction result from multilevel interactions between the hormonal stress response system, i.e., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and the hormonal reproductive system, i.e., the(More)
Increased dietary intake of choline early in life improves performance of adult rats on memory tasks and prevents their age-related memory decline. Because neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus also declines with age, we investigated whether prenatal choline availability affects hippocampal neurogenesis in adult Sprague-Dawley rats and modifies their(More)
Impaired regulation of emotional memory is a feature of several affective disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Such regulation occurs, in part, by interactions between the hippocampus and the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Recent studies have indicated that within the adult hippocampus, newborn neurons may contribute to(More)
Stress can exert long-lasting changes on the brain that contribute to vulnerability to mental illness, yet mechanisms underlying this long-term vulnerability are not well understood. We hypothesized that stress may alter the production of oligodendrocytes in the adult brain, providing a cellular and structural basis for stress-related disorders. We found(More)
The adult hippocampus hosts a population of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) that proliferates throughout the mammalian life span. To date, the new neurons derived from NSPCs have been the primary measure of their functional relevance. However, recent studies show that undifferentiated cells may shape their environment through secreted growth(More)
Supplemental choline in the maternal diet produces a lasting enhancement in memory in offspring that resists age-related decline and is accompanied by neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and neurochemical changes in the hippocampus. The present study was designed to examine: 1) if prenatal choline supplementation alters behaviors that contribute to risk or(More)
Stress is a potent modulator of the mammalian brain. The highly conserved stress hormone response influences many brain regions, particularly the hippocampus, a region important for memory function. The effect of acute stress on the unique population of adult neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) that resides in the adult hippocampus is unclear. We found that(More)
In times of stress, social support can serve as a potent buffering mechanism that enhances resilience. In humans, stress can promote protective affiliative interactions and prosocial behavior. Yet, stress also precipitates psychopathologies characterized by social withdrawal such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The factors that(More)
Biological pathways that significantly contribute to sporadic Alzheimer’s disease are largely unknown and cannot be observed directly. Cognitive symptoms appear only decades after the molecular disease onset, further complicating analyses. As a consequence, molecular research is often restricted to late-stage post-mortem studies of brain tissue. However,(More)
Many behavioral functions in mammals, including rodents and humans, are mediated principally by discrete brain regions. A common method for discerning the function of various brain regions for behavior or other experimental outcomes is to implement a localized ablation of function. In humans, patient populations with localized brain lesions are often(More)