Megan Holmes

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Epidemiological evidence suggests that an adverse prenatal environment permanently 'programs' physiology and increases the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, neuroendocrine and psychiatric disorders in adulthood. Prenatal stress or exposure to excess glucocorticoids might provide the link between fetal maturation and adult pathophysiology. In a variety of(More)
The nuclear mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a high-affinity receptor for glucocorticoids, is highly expressed in the hippocampus where it underpins cognitive, behavioural and neuroendocrine regulation. Increased neuronal MR expression occurs early in the response to cellular injury in vivo and in vitro and is associated with enhanced neuronal survival. To(More)
PC4- and SF2-interacting protein 1 (Psip1)-also known as lens epithelium-derived growth factor (Ledgf)-is a chromatin-associated protein that has been implicated in transcriptional regulation, mRNA splicing, and cell survival in vitro, but its biological function in vivo is unknown. We identified an embryonic stem cell clone with disrupted Psip1 in a gene(More)
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe form of mental retardation, which is caused by spontaneous mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2. How the loss of MeCP2 function leads to RTT is currently unknown. Mice lacking the Mecp2 gene initially show normal postnatal development but later acquire neurological phenotypes, including heightened anxiety, that resemble RTT.(More)
The metabolic syndrome (visceral obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia) resembles Cushing's Syndrome, but without elevated circulating glucocorticoid levels. An emerging concept suggests that the aberrantly elevated levels of the intracellular glucocorticoid reamplifying enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11(More)
In obese humans and rodents there is increased expression of the key glucocorticoid (GC) regenerating enzyme, 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1), in adipose tissue. This increased expression appears to be of pathogenic importance because transgenic mice overexpressing 11beta-HSD1 selectively in adipose tissue exhibit a full metabolic(More)
We have investigated the effects of synthetic oxytocin and vasopressin on corticotropin release induced by the 41-residue ovine corticotropin-releasing factor (oCRF) in vitro. Segments of the anterior pituitary glands obtained from male and female Wistar or from female hetero- and homozygous Brattleboro rats were used. Ovine CRF (0.1-2.5 nmol/l) stimulated(More)
11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 is a glucocorticoid metabolizing enzyme that catalyzes rapid inactivation of corticosterone and cortisol to inert 11-keto derivatives. As 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 is highly expressed in the developing brain, but not in the adult CNS, we hypothesized that it may represent a protective barrier to(More)
Glucocorticoid action on target tissues is determined by the density of "nuclear" receptors and intracellular metabolism by the two isozymes of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) which catalyze interconversion of active cortisol and corticosterone with inert cortisone and 11-dehydrocorticosterone. 11β-HSD type 1, a predominant reductase in most(More)