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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Helen I'Anson

John T. Perry Professor of Biology and Research Science; Neuroscience Program Member

Howe 405
(540) 458-8974

Department Head
HHMI Program Director
St. Andrews University, Biology Program Coordinator


B.S. Botany & Zoology (Joint Honors): University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK

Graduate Education Certificate: University of Reading, UK

Ph.D.: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Neurobiology of Puberty - This is an ongoing project to determine the metabolic signals and sensors within the brain which transduce metabolic information, and the neurotransmitter pathways which transmit this metabolic information to the brain region which controls reproduction (the hypothalamus). In addition, my research interests have broadened to include the neural regulation of energy partitioning in the developing and adult female. This project includes in vivo studies using the developing and adult rat model, and a collaborative study with Dr. James Eason (University of the Pacific, CA) that is producing testable models and simulations from in vivo data.

Dr. Fran Ebling (Nottingham University, UK) and I have recently began a collaboration during my sabbatical leave (2006-2007) which studies the neural regulation of metabolism in the Siberian hamster model that gains and looses weight with season. Our first series of studies investigate the role of histaminergic neurons in the regulation of seasonal metabolic changes in the hamster. We also use the mouse model to determine the role of a novel brain receptor (prokineticin receptor 2) in the regulation of metabolism.



Fundamentals of Biology (Biology 111)
Research Preparation in Biosciences (Biology 200)
Reproductive Physiology (Biology 255)
Mammalian Reproduction Seminar (Biology 295)
Microanatomy (Biology 355)
Animal Physiology (Biology 362)
Neuroendocrinology (Biology 397/Neuroscience 395)

Selected Publications

I'Anson H, Manning JM, Herbosa MC, Pelt C, Wood RI, Bucholtz, DC, and Foster DL: Central inhibition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion in the growth-restricted hypogonadotropic female sheep. Endocrinology 141:520-527, 2000.

Messer NA*, and I'Anson H: The nature of the metabolic signal capable of triggering onset of puberty in food-restricted, prepubertal female rats. Physiol. Behav., 68:377-382, 2000.

Reyes BA, Estacio MA, I'Anson H, Tsukamura H, and Maeda KI: Glucoprivation increases estrogen receptor alpha immunoreactivity in the brain catecholaminergic neurons in ovariectomized rats. Neurosci Lett., 299(1-2):109-12, 2001.

Harney JP, Madara J, Madara J D, and I'Anson H: Effects of acute inhibition of fatty acid oxidation on latency to seizure and concentrations of b-hydroxybutyrate in plasma of rats maintained on calorie restriction and/or the ketogenic diet. Epilepsy Res., 49:239-246, 2002.

I'Anson H, Starer CA*, and Bonnema KR*: Glucoprivic regulation of estrous cycles in the rat. Hormones and Behavior, 43:388-393, 2003.

I'Anson H, Sundling LA, Roland SM, and Ritter S: Immunotoxic Destruction of Distinct Catecholaminergic Neuron Populations Disrupts the Reproductive Response to Glucoprivation in Female Rats. Endocrinology, 144:4325-4331, 2003.

Kinoshita M*, I'Anson H, Tsukamura H, and Maeda K-I: Fourth ventricular alloxan injection suppresses pulsatile luteinizing hormone release in female rats. J. Reprod. Dev., 50(3):279-285, 2004.

Estacio MAC, Tsukamura H, Reyes BAS, Uenoyama Y, I'Anson H, and Maeda K-I: Involvement of brainstem noradrenergic inputs to the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in estrogen receptor α expression in this nucleus during different stress conditions in female rats. Endocrinology, 145(11):4917-4926, 2004.

Reyes BAS, Tsukamura H, I'Anson H, Estacio MAC, Hirunagi K, and Maeda K-I Temporal expression of estrogen receptor a in the hypothalamus and medulla oblongata during fasting: a role of noradrenergic neurons. J. Endocrinology 190:593-600, 2006.

Shahab M, Sajapitak S, Tsukamura H, Kinoshita M*, Matsuyama S*, Okhura S, Yamada S*, Uenoyama Y, I'Anson H, and Maeda K-I: Acute lipoprivation suppresses pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion without affecting food intake in female rats. J. Reprod. Devel., 52:763-772, 2006

Sajapitak S, Iwata K, Shahab M, Uenoyama Y, Yamada S, Kinoshita M, Bari FY, I'Anson H, Tsukamura H, Maeda K. Central lipoprivation-induced suppression of luteinizing hormone pulses is mediated by paraventricular catecholaminergic inputs in female rats. Endocrinology. 149(6):3016-24, 2008.

Sajapitak S, Uenoyama Y, Yamada S, Kinoshita M, Iwata K, Bari FY, I'Anson H, Tsukamula H, Maeda K. Paraventricular alpha1- and alpha2-adrenergic receptors mediate hindbrain lipoprivation-induced suppression of luteinizing hormone pulses in female rats. J Reprod Dev. 54(3):198-202, 2008.

Jethwa PH., I'Anson H, Warner A, Prosser HM, Bradley A, Hastings MH, Maywood ES, Ebling FJP: Loss of prokinetcin receptor 2 (ProkR2) signaling predisposes mice to torpor. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 294(6):R1968-79, 2008.

I'Anson H, Jethwa PH, Warner A, and Ebling FJP. Histaminergic regulation of seasonal metabolic rhythms in the Siberian hamster. Physiology and Behavior. Submitted 2009.

Warner A, Jethwa P, Wyse C, I'Anson H, Brameld J, and Ebling FJP. Effects of photoperiod on locomotor activity, energy expenditure and feeding behavior in a seasonal mammal. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Submitted 2009.


Hickman CP, Roberts LS, Larson A, and I'Anson, H: "Integrated Principles of Zoology" 12th edition, McGraw Hill (pubs), 2003.

Hickman CP, Roberts LS, Larson A, and I'Anson H: " Integrated Principles of Zoology" 13th edition, McGraw Hill (pubs), 2005.

Hickman CP, Roberts LS, Keen S, Larson A, I'Anson H, and Eisenhour DJ: " Integrated Principles of Zoology" 14th edition, McGraw Hill (pubs), 2007.

L.S., Keen, S., Larson, A., I'Anson, H., Eisenhour, D.J.: " Hickman's Integrated Principles of Zoology" 15th edition, McGraw Hill (pubs), 2010.

(* denotes undergraduate co-authors)