Jeffrey D. Blaustein

Professor, Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior Program; Psychology Department, University of Massachusetts

J. Blaustein Neuroendocrine Web Site

Ph.D.: University of Massachusetts
Postdoctoral Training: Rutgers University Institute of Animal Behavior
Honors: Senior Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health

Neuroendocrinology, Hormones and Behavior, Reproductive Endocrinology

We study the cellular processes by which steroid hormones act in the brain, particularly with respect to their involvement in reproductive behavior. In female rats, the response of neurons involved in reproductive behavior to the ovarian hormones is determined in part by the concentrations of intracellular receptors for each of these hormones. One of our main interests is in the cellular processes by which steroid hormone receptors, acting as transcription factors, influence neuronal function. In most of our studies, we use cellular techniques such as immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization histochemistry, and neuroanatomical tract tracing.

Our other main interest is in determining the cellular processes by which afferent inputs from the social environment influence hormone response in specific neurons. Many neurons that respond genomically to mating stimuli also contain ovarian steroid hormone receptors. This suggests that these neurons are capable of integrating tactile information received from the social environment with hormonal information. Furthermore, while it was originally thought that these steroid hormone receptors are activated only by steroid hormones, it is now known that they may undergo hormone-independent activation in response to afferent input received via neurotransmitter release. This activation in turn causes changes in behavior and physiology which resemble those induced by hormone-dependent activation. Studies are under way to elucidate the cellular mechanisms involved in hormone-independent activation of neuronal steroid hormone receptors.

Representative publications:

Blaustein, J.D. Progestin receptors: neuronal intergrators of hormonal and enviromental information. Proceedings of the New York Academy of Science , 2003, in press.

Gréco, B, Blasberg, M.E., Kosinski, E.C. and Blaustein, J.D. Response of ERa-IR and ERß-IR cells in the forebrain of female rats to mating stimuli. Hormones and Behavior , 2003, 43 : 444 - 453.

Gréco, B., Lubbers, L.S. and Blaustein, J.D. Estrogen receptor b mRNA expression in the forebrain of proestrous, pregnant and lactating female rats. Endocrinology , 2003, 144 : 1869-75.

Blaustein, J.D. and Erskine, M.S. Feminine sexual behavior: cellular integration of hormonal and afferent information in the rodent forebrain. In: (Pfaff, DW, ed.) Hormones, Brain and Behavior , Academic Press: New York, 2002, 139 - 214.

Bennett, A.L., Greco, B., Blasberg, M.E. and Blaustein, J.D. Response to male odours in progestin receptor- and oestrogen receptor-containing cells in female rat brain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology , 2002, 14: 442 - 449.

Bennett, A.L., Blasberg, M.E. and Blaustein, J.D. Mating stimulation required for mating-induced estrous abbreviation in female rats: effects of repeated testing. Hormones and Behavior , 2002, 42: 206 - 211.

Blaustein, J. D. and B. Greco (2002). "A progestin antagonist blocks vaginocervical stimulation-induced fos expression in neurones containing progestin receptors in the rostral medial preoptic area." J Neuroendocrinol 14(2): 109-15.

Auger, A. P., J. M. Meredith, G. L. Snyder and J. D. Blaustein (2001). "Oestradiol increases phosphorylation of a dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP-32) in female rat brain." J Neuroendocrinol 13(9): 761-8.

Bennett, A. L., M. E. Blasberg and J. D. Blaustein (2001). "Sensory cues mediating mating-induced potentiation of sexual receptivity in female rats." Horm Behav 40(1): 77-83.

Auger, A.P., L. M. LaRiccia, C. A. Moffatt and J. D. Blaustein (2000). "Progesterone, but not progesterone-independent activation of progestin receptors by a mating stimulus, rapidly decreases progestin receptor immunoreactivity in female rat brain." Horm Behav 37(2): 135-44.

Donahue, J. E., E. G. Stopa, R. L. Chorsky, J. C. King, H. M. Schipper, S. A. Tobet, J. D. Blaustein and S. Reichlin (2000). "Cells containing immunoreactive estrogen receptor-alpha in the human basal forebrain." Brain Res 856(1-2): 142-51.

Auger, A.P., Moffatt, C.A. and Blaustein, J.D. (1997) Steroid-independent activation of rat brain progestin receptors by reproductive stimuli. Endocrinology 138, 511-514.

Mani, S.K., Blaustein, J.D. and O’Malley, B.W. (1997) Progesterone receptor function from a behavioral perspective. Hormones and Behavior 31, 244-255.

Auger, A.P., Moffatt, C.A. and Blaustein, J.D. (1996) Reproductively-relevant stimuli induce Fos-immunoreactivity within progestin receptor-containing neurons in localized regions of female rat forebrain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 8, 831-838.

Auger, A.P. and Blaustein, J.D. (1995) Progesterone enhances an estradiol-induced increase in Fos immunoreactivity in localized regions of female rat forebrain. Journal of Neuroscience 15, 2272-2279.

Mani, S.K., Allen, J.M.C., Clark, J.H., Blaustein, J.D. and O’Malley, B.W. (1994) Convergent pathways for steroid hormone- and neurotransmitter-induced rat sexual behavior. Science 265, 1246-1249.