Mission and Goals
The mission of this laboratory is to determine the brain physiology underlying reproductive behaviors. This has driven Dr. Caldwell since his doctoral work on the role of noradrenergic input in the control of female sexual behavior and then to his post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Drs. Arthur Prange and Cort Pedersen at the University of North Carolina studying the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in both maternal and female sexual behaviors.

Dr. Caldwell’s post-doctoral work led to the discovery that steroids have non-genomic effects on the oxytocinergic system (Caldwell et al. J. of Neuroendocrinology 11 409, 1999; Caldwell, J.D et al. Hormone & Metabolic Research 28: 119, 1996). This included the finding that steroids bound to large proteins, such as estradiol bound to albumin, had effects that free steroids did not have (Caldwell and Moe,Hormones and Behavior 35: 38, 1999; Caldwell, J. D., et al. Annals of the New York Acad. Sciences , 814: 282, 1997). This led Dr. Caldwell to wonder if perhaps steroid-binding globulins, which had recently been found to be made in brain, might mediate important steroid effects in brain and elsewhere.

That steroid-binding globulins such as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) have important physiological and behavioral effects in the brain has been the focus of Dr. Caldwell’s research in this third millennium. Please see more about this under the Projects web page.

Areas of research interest:
> The emerging roles of steroid binding globulins in the brain.
> Neural control of reproductive behaviors.
> Neurophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease.
> Non-genomic effects of steroids.
> The physiology of aging.

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