Ei Terasawa

Ei Terasawa
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
(608) 263-3579


Ph.D. Yokohama City University, Japan

Research Focus:

Neuroendocrine Neurons in the Hypothalamus

Research Strengths:

Development, Plasticity, and Repair; Neuronal Circuits

Research Description:

Many types of neuroendocrine neurons in the hypothalamus release neuropeptides into the pituitary portal circulation in an oscillatory manner, which is essential for normal pituitary function.  My research focuses on the study of one of these neurons--the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurosecretory system.  The aims of current studies are: 1) to determine the mechanism of the onset of puberty, which requires an increase in GnRH pulse frequency; 2) to investigate the role of locally synthesized and released neuroestradiol in regulation of GnRH release; 3) to study the mechanism of ovarian steriod action on GnRH neurons, which modulate pulsatile GnRH release with different time domains, and 4) to generate GnRH neurons from stem cells and investigate the cellular mechanisms of pulsatile LHRH neurosecretion.

My research is being conducted on the rhesus monkey, as an important model for humans.  I take a multidisciplinary approach to accomplishing the research aims, and use a variety of techniques including a microdialysis method to determine in vivo release of neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, and neurosteriods; Ca2+ imaging in GnRH neurons; identification of neuroendocrine neurons with immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization; and assessment of quantitative neuronal gene expression and DNA methylation with various molecular biological approaches. 


Please see PubMed for most recent publications

 Kenealy, B.P., Keen, K.L., Garcia, J.P., Richter, D.J., and Terasawa, E. 2015 Prolonged infusion of estradiol benzoate into the stalk median eminence stimulates release of GnRH and kisspeptin in ovariectomized female rhesus macaques. Endocrinology 156: 1804-1814. PMCID: PMC4398774

Kenealy, B.P., Kapoor, A., Guerriero, K.A., Keen, K.L., Garcia, J.P., Kurian, J.R., Ziegler, T.E., and Terasawa, E. 2013 Neuroestradiol in the hypothalamus contributes to the regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone release. J. Neurosci.  33: 19071-19085. PMCID: PMC3850033

Terasawa, E., Guerriero, K.A., and Plant, T.M. 2013 Kisspeptin and puberty in mammals. Adv Exp. Med. Biol. 784: 253-273. PMCID: PMC3996677

Kurian, J.R., and Terasawa, E. 2013 Epigenetic control of gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons. Front. Endocrinol. (Lausanne). 4: 61.  PMCID: PMC3664328

Terasawa, E., and Kenealy, B.P. 2012 Rapid action of estradiol and GnRH neurons. Front. Neuroendocrinol. 33: 364-375. PMID: 22940545

Terasawa, E., Kurian, J.R., Keen, K.L., Shiel, N.A., Colman, R.J., and Capuano, S.V. 2012 Body weight impact on puberty: Effects of high calorie diet on puberty onset in female rhesus monkeys. Endocrinology 153:1696-1705. PMCID: PMC3320255

Fuenzalida, L.C., Keen, K.L., and Terasawa, E. 2011 Colocalization of FM1-43, Bassoon and GnRH-1: GnRH-1 release from cell bodies and their neuroprocesses. Endocrinology 152: 4310-4321,. PMCID: PMC3199012

Terasawa,  E., Kurian J.R., Guerriero K.A., Kenealy B.P., Hutz, E.D., and Keen, K.L. 2010. Recent discoveries on the control of GnRH neurons in nonhuman primates. J. Neuroendocrinol. 22: 630-638. PMCID: PMC 2908205

Noel, S.D., Keen, K.L., Baumann,  D.I., Filardo, E.J.,  and Terasawa,  E. 2009.Involvement of G-protein coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) in rapid action of estrogen in primate LHRH neurons. Mol. Endocrinol.  23: 349-359. PMCID: PMC2654512

Abe, H., and E. Terasawa. 2005. Firing pattern and rapid modulation of activity by estrogen in primate LHRH-1 neurons. Endocrinology 146: 4312-4320.

Terasawa, E. and D.L. Fernandez. 2001. Neurobiological mechanisms of the onset of puberty in primates. Endocrinol. Rev. 22: 111-151. PMID: 11159818

Terasawa, E. 2001. Luteinizing-hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons: Mechanism of pulsatile LHRH release. Vitam. Horm. 63: 91-129. PMID: 11358119

Terasawa, E., W.K. Schanhofer, K.L. Keen, and L.L. Luchansky. 1999. Intracellular Ca2+ oscillation in luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) cells derived from the embryonic olfactory placode of the rhesus monkey. J. Neurosci. 19: 5898-5909. PMID: 10407029

Terasawa, E., K.L. Keen, K. Mogi, and P. Claude. 1999. Pulsatile release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone in cultured LHRH neurons derived from the embryonic olfactory placode of the rhesus monkey. Endocrinology 140: 1432-1441.PMID: 10067872

Keen, K.L., Burich, A.J., Mitsushima, D., Kasuya, E., and Terasawa, E. 1999. Effects of pulsatile infusion of the GABAA receptor blocker bicuculline on the onset of puberty in female rhesus monkeys. Endocrinology 140: 5257-5266. PMID: 10537156