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
For a complete list of Dr. Benedek Erdos' publications, please visit PubMed.
- Johnson AC, Uhlig F, Einwag Z, Cataldo N, Erdos B. The neuroendocrine stress response impairs hippocampal vascular function and memory in male and femail rats. Neurobiol Dis. 2022 Jun 15; 168: 105717. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2022.105717. PMID: 35385769, PMCID: PMC9018625
- Thorsdottir D. Einwag Z, Erdos B. BDNF shifts excitatory-inhibition balance in the paravetricular nucleus of the hypothalmus to elevate blood pressure. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Oct 1; 126(4): 1209-1220. doi: 10.1152/jn.00247.2021. PMID: 34406887, PMCID: PMC8560414
- Thorsdottir D, Cruikshank NC, Einwag Z, Hennig GW, Erdos B. BDNF downregulates -adrenergic receptor-mediated hypotensive mechanisms in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Dec 1; 317(6): H1258-H1271. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00478.2019. PMID: 31603352; PMCID: PMC6962618
- 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
- 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
- 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.2016.06.20.2.8. PMID: 27508155, PMCID: PMC4977904
- 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.2016.03.20.1.2. PMID: 27298812, PMCID: PMC4899900
- 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, PMCID: PMC9387676