Kristen Scarbrough

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In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) regulate the timing of LH surges. Recent evidence suggests that vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), an abundantly expressed neuropeptide of the SCN, communicates time of day information from the SCN to GnRH neurons. VIP levels in the SCN decrease with age and may be responsible for alterations in LH surges that(More)
Purified nuclear DNA from two mealybug species was analyzed for its 5-methylcytosine (m5C) content by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. We observed that the percent m5C (percentage of cytosines which are methylated) varied between the two species, between males and females of the same species, and between lines with and without(More)
Aging of the female reproductive system in rats is marked by discrete stages in the disappearance of regular estrous cyclicity. We determined at which point in the transition to acyclicity changes in the LH pulse generator could be detected by comparing pulsatile LH release in ovariectomized young rats to three groups of middle-aged rats that were(More)
A combined reverse hemolytic plaque-in situ hybridization assay was developed to allow analysis of the relationship between peptide secretion and gene expression within individual cells. We used the pituitary lactotroph as a model system, but this strategy should be widely applicable. It can be used to test hypotheses regarding if and when peptide secretion(More)
Opiate peptides are thought to modulate the pattern of LH release in female rats. We tested the hypothesis that changes in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression occur in proestrous (PRO) and ovariectomized (OVX) steroid-treated rats which may explain their unique patterns of LH secretion. Using in situ hybridization, we examined whether diurnal changes(More)
The menopause marks the permanent end of fertility in women. It was once thought that the exhaustion of ovarian follicles was the single, most important explanation for the transition to the menopause. Over the past decade, this perception has gradually changed with the realization that there are multiple pacemakers of reproductive senescence. We will(More)
The circadian clock that resides in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is the major neural pacemaker driving most 24-h rhythms in mammals. Several neurotransmitter peptides are synthesized within this nucleus and communicate rhythmically with other cells in the SCN as well as with cells in other regions of the brain. At the present time,(More)
The diurnal rhythms of many physiological functions are disrupted during aging. Underlying these disruptions are age-related alterations in the activity of neurotransmitters and/or their receptors. Estradiol has a significant influence on the pattern of the diurnal rhythms in neurotransmitter function, and responsiveness to estradiol changes with age. We(More)
We assessed whether fetal tissue containing the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) can restore age-related changes in the diurnal rhythm of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and anterior pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA. Young, middle-aged, and middle-aged SCN-transplanted rats were killed at seven times of day. In young rats, CRH mRNA(More)
Several lines of evidence from different laboratories suggest that hypothalamic beta-endorphinergic activity decreases around the time of initiation of the LH surge and may increase on estrus to extinguish the expression of the daily neuronal signal for the surge. In several hormone systems, factors that stimulate or suppress hormone release also stimulate(More)