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New genomic avenues in behavioural neuroendocrinology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Colin Ingram


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Neuroendocrine systems play a key role not only in the maintenance of whole-body homeostasis but also as the link between behavioural, endocrine and autonomic responses to environmental stimuli. It is becoming increasingly clear that neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms are under the control of a combination of factors including genetic background, environment and early-life programming. Patterns of gene expression are increasingly being used to provide information on the genotypes associated with particular behaviours, and modulation of specific parts of the genome allow investigation of the contribution of particular genes. The sequencing of the genome provides a unique opportunity to elucidate the genetic contribution to neuroendocrine and behavioural processes, and to investigate the interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Although drugs can be used to activate or inhibit neurotransmitters and receptors, they lack specificity. New technologies now permit the activation or inactivation of both neurotransmitters and receptors in specific areas of the brain for defined periods, including crucially important developmental windows when activation appears to have long-term consequences. The future challenges are to define the critical mechanisms through which the genetic constitution of an individual human or experimental animal interacts with environmental cues to result in altered physiological or even pathological behaviour and endocrine function.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ingram CD; Lightman SL; Insel TR

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: European Journal of Neuroscience: Workshop on Neuroendocrine Behaviour Interface in the Post-Genome Era

Year of Conference: 2002

Pages: 369-372

ISSN: 0953-816X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2002.02082.x

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 14609568