Stafford Lightman

Learn More
Ligand-dependent transcription by the nuclear receptor glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is mediated by interactions with coregulators. The role of these interactions in determining selective binding of GR to regulatory elements remains unclear. Recent findings indicate that a large fraction of genomic GR binding coincides with chromatin that is accessible prior(More)
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a neuroendocrine system that regulates the circulating levels of vital glucocorticoid hormones. The activity of the HPA axis is characterized not only by a classic circadian rhythm, but also by an ultradian pattern of discrete pulsatile release of glucocorticoids. A number of psychiatric and metabolic(More)
Circulating corticosterone levels show an ultradian rhythm resulting from the pulsatile release of glucocorticoid hormone by the adrenal cortex. Because the pattern of hormone availability to corticosteroid receptors is of functional significance, it is important to determine whether there is also a pulsatile pattern of corticosterone concentration within(More)
Studies on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) action typically assess gene responses by long-term stimulation with synthetic hormones. As corticosteroids are released from adrenal glands in a circadian and high-frequency (ultradian) mode, such treatments may not provide an accurate assessment of physiological hormone action. Here we demonstrate that ultradian(More)
We reported previously that the neuropeptide oxytocin attenuates stress-induced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity and anxiety behavior. This study sought to identify forebrain target sites through which oxytocin may mediate its anti-stress effects. Ovariectomized, estradiol-treated rats received intracerebroventricular infusions of oxytocin (1 or(More)
The generality and spectrum of chromatin-remodeling requirements for nuclear receptor function are unknown. We have characterized glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding events and chromatin structural transitions across GR-induced or -repressed genes. This analysis reveals that GR binding invariably occurs at nuclease-accessible sites (DHS). A remarkable(More)
Acute hypercapnia was studied to assess its potential as a noninvasive and simple test for evoking neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and psychological responses to stress in man. A single breath of four concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO(2)), 5%, 25%, 35% and 50%, was administered to nine healthy volunteers in a randomized, single-blind fashion. Although no(More)
BACKGROUND There is a popular belief that chronic stress causes heart disease through psychoneuroendocrine mechanisms. We have examined whether an elevated circulating cortisol-to-testosterone ratio increases the risk of ischemic heart disease. METHODS AND RESULTS We undertook a prospective cohort study of 2512 men aged 45 to 59 years between 1979 and(More)
The metabolism of the amino acid L-tryptophan is a highly regulated physiological process leading to the generation of several neuroactive compounds within the central nervous system. These include the aminergic neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), products of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism (including 3-hydroxykynurenine,(More)