Erdos Lab

Research Interests

Our research is focused on understanding how stress, obesity and aging affect neuroendocrine regulation of blood pressure with an aim to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) is a complex structure composed of several subgroups of neurons involved in maintaining homeostasis, regulating autonomic and endocrine responses to internal or external stressors and controlling food intake and energy expenditure. We are investigating these regulatory mechanisms within the PVN in order to better understand the ways stress, changes in diet, age and the combination of these factors lead to elevations in blood pressure.

Ongoing projects are aimed to reveal the roles of neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) within the PVN and their involvement in acute stress  responses, adaptation to repeated stressors and regulation of food intake and energy balance.  We use whole animal, in vivo techniques such as radiotelemetric measurement of blood pressure in conscious animals, sympathetic nerve activity recording, stereotactic brain injections of pharmacological agents and viral vectors as well as a wide range of molecular techniques.

Recent work in our laboratory demonstrated that BDNF and angiotensin II signaling interact within the PVN to elicit acute increases in blood pressure and sympathetic activity, and that inhibition of BDNF signaling in the PVN can diminish acute stress-induced hypertensive responses.  Furthermore, we have shown that long-term upregulation of BDNF expression in the PVN leads to significant long-term increases in blood pressure in part by preventing brainstem noradrenergic neurons to exert their inhibitory role on PVN neurons that drive sympathetic activity. 


People in the Lab

    Research Techncian:

  • Noelle Cataldo

    Graduate Students: 

  • Jenan Husain


Recent Publications

For a complete list of Dr. Benedek Erdos' publications, please visit PubMed.

  1. Schaich CL, Wellman TL, Einwag Z, Dutko RA, Erdos B.  Inhibition of BDNF signaling in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus lowers acute stress-induced pressor responses.  J Neurophysiol.  2018 Aug 1;  120(2):  633-643.  doi:  10.1152/jn.00459.2017.  PMID:  29694277, PMCID:  PMC6139453
  2. Basgut B, Whidden MA, Kirichenko N, Woods M, Erdos B, Scarpace PJ, Tumer N.  Effect of High-Salt Diet on Age-Related High Blood Pressure and Hypothalamic Redox Signaling.  Pharmacology.  2017:  100(3-4):  105-114.  doi:  10.1159/000472259.  PMID:  28521325,
  3. Whidden MA, Basgut B, Kirichenko N, Erdos B, Tumer N.  Altered potassium ATP channel signaling in mesenteric arteries of old high salt-fed rats.  J Exerc Nutrition Biochem.  2016 Jun;  20(2):  58-64.  doi:  10.20463/jenb.2016.  PMID:  27508155, PMCID:  PMC4977904
  4. Gocmez SS, Scarpace PJ, Whidden MA, Erdos B, Kirichenko N, Sakarya Y, Utkan T, Tumer N.  Age Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation is improved by resveratrol in rat mesenteric arteries.  J Exerc Nutrition Biochem.  2016 Mar 31:  20(1):  41-48.  doi:  10.20463.jenb.2016.  PMID:  27298812, PMCID:  PMC4899900
  5. Schaich CL, Wellman TL, Koi B, Erdos B BDNF acting in the hypothalamus induces acute pressor responses under permissive control of angiotensin II.  Auton Neurosci.  2016 May;  197:1-8.  doi:  10.1016/j.auneu.2016.02.011.  PMID:  26948539
  6. Erdos B, Clifton RR< Liu M, Li H, McCowan ML, Sumners C. Scheuer DA.  Novel mechanism within the paraventricular nucleus reduces both blood pressure and hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis responses to acute stress.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.  2015 Aug 15;  309(4):  H634-H645.  doi:  10.1152/ajpheart.00207.2015.  PMID:  26071542, PMCID:  PMC4537949
  7. Erdos B, Backes I, McCowan ML, Hayward LF, Scheuer DA.  Brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates antiotensin signaling in the hypothalamus to increase blood pressure in rats.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.  2015 Mar 15;  308(6):  H612-622.  doi:  10.1152/ajpheart.00776.2014.  PMID:  25576628, PMCID:   PMC4360054
  8. Tumer N, Sevtlov S, Whidden M, Kirichenko N, Prima V, Erdos B, Sherman A, Kobeissy F, Yezierski R, Scarpace PJ, Vierch C, Wang KW. Overpressure blast-wave induced brain injury elevates oxidative stress in the hypothalamus and catecholamine biosynthesis in the rat adrenal medulla. Neurosci Lett, 544:62-67, 2013 Jun 7. PMID: 23570732
  9. Daubert DL, McCowan M, Erdos B, Scheuer D. Nucleus of the Solitary Tract catecholamineric neurons modulate the cardiovascular response to physiological stress in rats. J Physiol. 590:4881-4895, 2012 Oct 1. PMID: 22753543
  10. Erdos B, Kirichenko N, Whidden M, Basgut B, Woods ME, Cudykier I, Tawil R, Scarpace PJ, Tumer N. Effect of age on hing fat diet-induced hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 301: H164172, 2011 May 6. PMID: 21551274
  11. Whidden M, Kirichenko N, Halic Z, Erdos B, Foster TC, Tumer N. Lifelong caloric restriction prevents age-induced oxidative stress in the sympathoadreal system of Fischer 344 x Brown Norway rats. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 408:454-458, 2011 April 19. PMID: 21527245
  12. Zhang Y, Rodrigues E, Gao YX, King M, Cheng KY, Erdos B, Tumer N, Carter C, Scarpace PJ. Pro-opionmelanocorin Gene Transfer to the NTS but not ARC Ameliorates Chronic Diet-Induced Obesity. Neuroscience, 169: 1662-1671, 2010 Sept 15. PMID: 20538045
  13. Erdos B, Cudykier I, Woods ME, Basgut B, Whidden M, Tawil R, Cardounel AJ, Tumer N. Hypertensive effects of central angiotensin II infusion and restraint stress are reduced with age. J Hypertens, 28:1298306, 2010 Jun 28. PMID: 20308921
  14. Erdos B, Broxson CS, Cudykier I, Basgut B, Whidden M, Landa T, Scarpace PJ, Tumer N. Effect of high fat diet feeding on hypothalamic redox signaling and central blood pressure regulation. Hypertens Res. 32-983-8, 2009 Aug 28. PMID: 19713964




Benedek Erdos, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Bloomfield Professor

Contact Information:


Phone:  (802) 656-0988

Lab Phone:  (802) 656-0987

Fax:  (802) 656-4523