Very happy to share our newly published "Sex differences in pituitary corticotroph excitability".

It is well known that sex differences exist in stress-related disorders, with women having twice the lifetime rate of depression compared to men and most anxiety disorders.

Corticotroph cells in the pituitary gland are a key player in the generation of hormonal stress responses. However, their contribution to sexually differential responses of the stress axis (which might underlie differences in stress-related disorders) is very poorly understood.

We found sex differences in the electrical activity of these cells, which could be related to differences in their gene expression pattern.

These findings shed light on the cellular mechanisms underlying sex differences in stress responses, contributing to a better understanding of stress-related disorders and potential avenues for diagnosis and treatment.

I thought I would share this image, which I took a while ago, but that I really like! This is a gland where cells expressing a protein called proopiomelanocortin (POMC for short) have been coloured in green. You can see two groups of cells; a very packed band in the middle and some sparse cells on the sides. The first are called melanotrophs, and they are important in determining skin and fur colour. The sparse cells on the sides are called corticotrophs (and that's what I am studying at the moment!) and they are important for the response to . They secrete an called ACTH which stimulates the production of the stress hormone cortisol from the adrenal gland. At the moment we are trying to understand what happens to this cells after the body is exposed to stress for a prolonged amount of time.

Hello everyone! Here's my ! I am a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, mostly teaching biomedical and ( and all that jazz) using and . My research interests revolve around that is, understanding how your brain controls the production of hormones in your body. I am particularly interested in the role of of cells in the gland and how that contributes to generating the right pattern of hormones at the right time!

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