Professor Colin Brown
Professor/Deputy HoD (Research)
Department of Physiology
Otago School of Medical Sciences
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Fax: +64 3 479 7323
Member of Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience.
The Brown laboratory is part of the University of Otago Centre for Neuroendocrinology.
Our research group principally uses electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry to determine how the brain controls birth, lactation, food intake and water balance. We currently focus on the control of the secretion of the hormone, oxytocin, which is necessary for birth and lactation, and is involved in driving increased food intake during pregnancy. We are also investigating how vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone) neurons prevent water loss in the urine to protect from dehydration and how malfunction of vasopressin neurons might contribute to the development of hypertension.
Oxytocin, vasopressin, hypothalamus, dehydration, hypertension
- Kisspeptin-oxytocin in the regulation of birth
- Hormonal regulation of bodyweight in reproduction
- Vasopressin and hypertension
- Health Research Council of New Zealand (2014-2019): Healthy pregnancies, healthy babies
- Health Research Council of New Zealand (2013-2016): Central regulation of natural birth process
- Health Research Council of New Zealand (2010-2013): Kisspeptin-oxytocin regulation of pregnancy: implications for preterm delivery
- Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund (2010-2014): Hormonal regulation of bodyweight in reproduction
- New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (2008): Neural-hormonal communication in the brain
- New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (2006-2008): Mechanisms of plasticity in vasopressin cell activity during dehydration
- Wellcome Trust (2003-2006): Cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal excitability during morphine withdrawal
- Wellcome Trust Fellowship (2000-2003): Investigation of dendritic regulation of activity by endogenous kappa-opioid peptides in the neurohypophysial system
- Charles Bourque, McGill University, Canada
- David Grattan, University of Otago, New Zealand
- Gareth Leng, University of Edinburgh, UK
- Mike Ludwig, University of Edinburgh, UK
- Javier Stern, Medical College of Georgia, USA
Previous lab personnel
- Research Fellow: Victoria Scott (2006-2014) – Medical student at the University of Otago
- Assistant Research Fellow: Ming Ruan (2006-2009) – Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago
- Research Student: Mahsa Moaddab (PhD, 2010-2014) – Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, USA
- Research Student: Su Young Han (PhD, 2010-2013) – Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago
- Research Student: Natalie Joe (MSc, 2011-2013) – Medical student at the University of Auckland
- Research Student: Yousif Alyousif (BMedSc, 2009) – Medical student at the University of Otago
- Research Student: Jennifer Do (PGDipSc, 2007 & MSc, 2008) – PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington
- R.A. Augustine, G.T. Bouwer, A.J. Seymour, D.R. Grattan & C.H. Brown (2016). Reproductive regulation of gene expression in the hypothalamic supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei. J. Neuroendocrinol. DOI: 10.1111/jne.12350
- S.Y. Han, G.T. Bouwer, A.J. Seymour, A.A. Korpal, D.O. Schwenke & C.H. Brown (2015). Induction of hypertension blunts baroreflex inhibition of vasopressin neurons in the rat. Eur. J. Neurosci. 42, 2690-2698
- K.Y. Choe, S.Y. Han, P. Gaub, B. Shell, D.L. Voisin, B.A. Knapp, P.A. Barker, C.H. Brown, J.T. Cunningham & C.W. Bourque (2015). High salt intake increases blood pressure via BDNF-mediated downregulation of KCC2 and impaired baroreflex inhibition of vasopressin neurons. Neuron 85, 549-560
- C.H. Brown, J.S. Bains, M. Ludwig & J.E. Stern (2013). Physiological regulation of magnocellular neurosecretory cell activity: Integration of intrinsic, local and afferent mechanisms. J. Neuroendocrinol. 25, 678-710.
- J.G. Tasker, S.H. Oliet, J.S. Bains, C.H. Brown & J.E. Stern (2012). Glial regulation of neuronal function: From synapse to systems physiology. J. Neuroendocrinol., 24, 681-689.
Commentaries & editorials
- G.J. De Vries, A.H. Veenema & C.H. Brown (2012). Vasopressin and oxytocin: Keys to understanding the neural control of physiology and behaviour. J. Neuroendocrinol., 24, 642-642.
- C.H. Brown, Y. Oiso & Y. Ueta (2010). Vasopressin & oxytocin: Focus in the post-genomic era. J. Neuroendocrinol., 22, 317-317.
- C.H. Brown, S.Y. Han, M. Moaddab, V. Scott, D.O. Schwenke (2014). Peptidergic control of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons and its role in reproductive and hypertension-associated plasticity. In: Neurophysiology of Neuroendocrine Neurons, eds. W.E. Armstrong & J.G. Tasker. International Neuroendocrine Federation Master Class Series, pp. 65-86, Wiley-Blackwell, UK. ISBN: 978-1-118-60681-0.
- V. Scott & C.H. Brown (2013). Beyond the GnRH axis: Beyond the GnRH axis: kisspeptin regulation of the oxytocin system in pregnancy and lactation. In: Kisspeptin Signaling in Reproductive Biology, eds. A. Kauffman & J. Smith. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 784, 201-218, Springer, USA. ISBN: 978-1-4614-6198-2.
I am passionately devoted to the study of life, and particularly to the higher forms of life. For me the one great question that has dominated my life is: "What am I?" What is the meaning of this marvelous gift of life? The more we know, the more the mystery grows.