Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
1001 Stern Hall
6400 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Research in my laboratory focuses on how small molecules such as hormones signal in neurons and glia to result in behavioral outcomes in the whole animal. In particular, we are interested in how estrogens signal to influence social behaviors. Estrogens signal in two major mechanistic ways: a) classical genomic signaling resulting in regulation of genes and b) rapid, cell membrane-initiated signaling leading to kinase activation and calcium influx. How do non-genomic, unconventional modes of signaling in cells integrate with classical modes of estrogen signaling? What genes in the brain and what social behaviors are regulated by non-genomic non-classical pathways? Using the mouse as a model, we seek to understand the physiological significance of such integration in behavior and the mechanisms by which such integration takes place. A second project involves understanding the role of a putative membrane estrogen receptor, the GPR30, in estrogen driven behaviors. Both these projects use a variety of molecular biological techniques, neuromorphological techniques, cell cultures as well as well as behavior in mice. A third project in the laboratory looks at the action of thyroid hormones on the brain. Currently, we use mouse models with either thyroid hormone receptor loss or abnormal levels of thyroid hormones to probe the involvement of thyroid hormone in anxiety related syndromes, using both mice behavior and gene expression assays.
Vasudevan, N., Davidkova, G., Zhu, Y. S., Koibuchi, N., Chin, W. W., and Pfaff, D. W. (2001). Differential interaction of estrogen receptor and thyroid hormone receptor isoforms on the rat oxytocin receptor promoter leads to differences in transcriptional regulation. Neuroendocrinology 74(5), 309-334.
Vasudevan, N., Zhu, Y. S., Daniel, S., Koibuchi, N., Chin, W. W., and Pfaff, D. W. (2001). Crosstalk between estrogen receptors and thyroid hormone receptor isoforms results in differential regulation of the preproenkephalin gene. J Neuroendocrinology 13, 779-790.
Vasudevan, N., Kow, L. M., and Pfaff, D. W. (2001). Early membrane estrogenic effects required for full expression of slower genomic actions in a nerve cell line. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 98(21), 12267-12271.
Vasudevan, N., Kia, H. K., Inoue, S., Muramatsu, M., and Pfaff, D. W. (2002). Isoform Specificity for Oestrogen Receptor and Thyroid Hormone Receptor Genes and Their Interactions on the NR2D Gene Promoter. J Neuroendocrinology 14, 836-842.
Bahadur U, Ganjam GK, Vasudevan N, Kondaiah P. (2005). Estrogen regulation of chicken riboflavin carrier protein gene is mediated by ERE half sites without direct binding of estrogen receptor. Mol Cell Endocrinol 231(1-2): 1-11.
Zhao, X., Lorenc, H., Stephenson, H., Wang, J., Witherspoon, D., Katzenellenbogen, B., Pfaff, D. W., and Vasudevan, N. (2005). Thyroid hormone can increase estrogen-mediated transcription from a consensus estrogen response element in neuroblastoma cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102:4890-4895.
Nandini Vasudevan, Hosein Kami Kia, Maria Hadjimarkou, Noriyuki Koibuchi, William W. Chin, Douglas Forrest, Bjorn Vennstrom and Donald Pfaff (2005). Retinoid related receptor (ROR)a mRNA expression is altered in the brain of male mice lacking all ligand-binding thyroid hormone receptor (TR) isoforms. Endocrine 26:25-32.
Zhao, X., MacBride, M. M., Pfaff, D. W., Peterson, B. R., and Vasudevan, N. (2005). Calcium flux in neuroblastoma cells is a coupling mechanism between non-genomic and genomic modes of estrogens. Neuroendocrinology 81:174-182.
Vasudevan, N., Ogawa, S., and Pfaff, D. W (2002). Multiple Genes and Isoforms for Estrogen Receptors and Thyroid Hormone Receptors: Patterns of molecular interactions and functional influences in neuroendocrine systems. Physiological Reviews 82(4), 923-944 (Submitted review).
Vasudevan N., Pfaff D.W (2005). Molecular mechanisms of crosstalk between thyroid hormones and estrogens. Current Opinion in Endocrinology and Diabetes 12:381-388 (Invited Review).
Vasudevan, N., and Pfaff, D.W (2007). Membrane initiated actions of estrogens in Neuroendocrinology: Emerging Principles. Endocrine Reviews 28 (1):1-19.
Vasudevan, N., and Pfaff, DW (2008). Non genomic actions of estrogens and their interaction with genomic actions in the brain. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinolgy 29 (2): 238-57.
School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 email@example.com