Department of Biological Sciences
Iacocca Hall, Room D-231
111 Research Drive
Bethelehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-4004 fax
Neuroendocrine regulation of behavior is achieved
through a series of actions by steroid hormones that affect genomic
processes and events at the cell membrane level. The objective of
the research program in our laboratory is to characterize these
effects of steroids and to determine how they contribute to target
cell sensitivity and, consequently, the expression of sexually dimorphic
behaviors. The presence of sex and strain differences in response
to the gonadal hormones testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone
provides a powerful model for the elaboration of these steroidal
effects and we have utilized these differences to help build increasingly
refined regulatory models over the past fifteen years. The mouse
has served as the primary species in our research and, more recently,
we have initiated collaborative studies that involve analyses of
non-human primate and sheep brains.
The current emphases of our research are on androgen
and estrogen receptor regulation, the modulation of serotonin receptor
and transporter function by testosterone and its metabolites, the
actions of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), and dehydroepiandrosterone
- GABAA receptor interactions. Three of these areas, steroid receptor
regulation, hormone-serotonin interactions, and the effects of the
neurosteroid DHEA on GABA-A function, are tied to an ongoing effort
to better understand the neurobiology of conspecific aggressive
behavior. The fourth, SERM effects in the CNS, is part of our collaborative
efforts with Drs. Jay Kaplan and Simon Turner in women's health
and aging. A variety of techniques are employed in these studies
including immunocytochemistry, Western analysis, RNase protection
assays, gel mobility shift assays, and biobehavioral investigations
including microinjection studies.
Recent Publications & Media
Guillon, C. Gary A. Koppel, Michael J. Brownstein, Michael O. Chaney, Craig F. Ferris, Shi-
fang Lu , Karine M.Fabio , Marvin J. Miller, Ned D. Heindel, David C. Hunden, Robin D. G. Cooper, Stephen W. Kaldor, Jeffrey J. Skelton, Bruce A. Dressman Michael P. Clay, Mitchell I. Steinberg, Robert F. Bruns, Neal G. Simon,. (2007) Azetidinones as vasopressin V1a antagonists. J. Biorganic Med Chem.
Simon, N. G. and Ferris, C.F. (2007) Aversive emotions: Hormonal basis of aggression. In L.
Squire, et al. (eds.) New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Elsevier.
Simon, N. and Lu, S (2006). Androgens and aggression. In R. Nelson (ed), Aggressive Behavior. Oxford Press, pp. 537-582.
Simon, N., Mo, Q., Hu, S., and Lu, S. (2006). Hormonal pathways regulating intermale and interfemale aggression. Intl. Rev. Neurobiol., 73, 99-124
Ferris, C.F., Lu, S., Messenger, T., Miller, M., Koppel, G.A., Bruns, F.R., Simon, N.G. (2006) An orally active vasopressin V1a receptor antagonist, SRX251, selectively blocks aggressive behavior. Pharmacol, Biochem. Behav, 83, 169-174
Mo, Q., Lu, S., Simon, N.G. (2006) Dehydroepiandrosterone and its metabolites: Differential
effects on androgen receptor trafficking and transcriptional activity. J ster. Biochem. Mol. Biol., 99, 50-58
Hu, S., Kaplan, J., Adams, M., and Simon, N. (2005). ER-beta protein expression in cynomolgus monkey and CF-1 mouse brain. J. Neurobiol., 64, 298-309.
Simon, N.G., Kaplan, J.R., Hu, S., Register, T.C., and Adams, M.R.(2004) Increased aggressive behavior and decreased affiliative behavior in adult male monkeys after long-term consumption of diets rich in soy protein and isoflavones. Horm. Behav. 45, 278-284
Mo, Q., Lu, S., Hu, S., and Simon, N.G. (2004) DHEA and DHEA sulfate differentially
regulate androgen receptor and its transcriptional activity. Mol. Brain Res., 126, 165-172.