Faculty and Research Interests
Ph.D., University of Calcutta
The major research emphasis of this laboratory is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of leptin and insulin signaling in the hypothalamus with reference to feeding, obesity, diabetes and reproduction. Recently, Dr. Sahu identified several hypothalamic peptidergic systems as potential targets of leptin signaling. Since leptin resistance may be the major cause of obesity and related disorders in human, the laboratory is currently using a rat model to address whether this is due to an alteration in leptin receptor activity and/ or defects in leptin signal transduction mechanisms (e.g. JAK/STAT pathway) in specific neuronal systems. The other area of research is directed at elucidating the neuroendocrine mechanisms that are involved in female reproductive aging, particularly in the development of menopause. In rodents, an alteration in hypothalamic activity plays a major role in the development of reproductive senescence. We have shown that a defect in hypothalamic NPY neuronal activity may be responsible for the reproductive senescence in female rats. In women, however, while it is widely accepted that ovarian follicular depletion is the driving force for the menopause, the role of the hypothalamus in the development of menopause is relatively unknown. Since rhesus monkey exhibits develops menopause like humans, we are using this animal is bein g used to examine the role of the hypothalamus in menopause. The fellows will have the opportunity to receive training in traditional in vivo and in vitro techniques and modern molecular biology techniques to address the questions in neuroendocrinology of reproduction and body weight regulation.
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