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Farida Sohrabji, Ph.D.

Farida Sohrabji

Professor and Associate Department Chair
Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (TAMU/TAMHSC)

4102 Medical Research and Education Building
8447 State Highway 47
Bryan, TX 77807-3260
Phone: 979-436-0335
Fax: 979-436-0086
Email: SOHRABJI@medicine.tamhsc.edu

Research Interests

I am interested in a critical issue in women's health and aging, specifically, in understanding how the decline of hormones at menopause affects brain function, and the impact of hormone replacement therapy on cognitive function in the aging female brain. Specifically, my lab studies the neural effects of estrogens on those regions of the brain that govern cognitive function in an animal model. A major focus of investigation is the comparison of estrogens effect on young adult females versus reproductive senescent animals. This latter model mimics aspects of the human menopause, which is the group likely to seek estrogen replacement therapy. Our work indicates that while estrogen replacement is beneficial to the young adult brain, it is deleterious to the reproductive senescent animals. We are currently testing the hypothesis that compensatory changes in brain estrogen receptor systems and in hormones produced by other endocrine organs during reproductive senescence crucially determine whether estrogen has beneficial or deleterious to the central nervous system. Four main projects are underway:

  1. The role of 17b-estradiol in mediating experimental stroke-induced neurodegeneration in older acyclic females,
  2. The use of alternate estrogen receptor specific ligands in modulating brain injury and inflammation
  3. The specific role of support cells such as endothelial cells and astrocytes in maintaining the blood brain barrier and in promoting neural repair in inflammation and stroke injury models.
  4. Clinical collaborations to identify blood brain barrier and peripheral immune changes in pre, peri and post-menopausal women.

I also participate as a member of the 'training faculty' for the Texas Consortium in Behavioral Neuroscience

I participate in graduate training as a member of the faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience.

Selected Publications

Lewis, DK, Stohlgren, S, Harms, A and Sohrabji, F. (2008) "Effects of Estrogen Receptor Agonists on Regulation of the Inflammatory Response in Astrocytes from Young Adult and Middle-Aged Female Rats". Journal of Neuroimmunology (In Press).

Sohrabji, F. (2007) "Guarding the blood brain barrier: a role for estrogen in the etiology of neurodegenerative disease". Gene Expression, 13,311-319.

Sohrabji, F and Lewis, DK. (2007) "Estrogen-BDNF interactions: implications for neurodegenerative diseases". Front Neuroendocrinology 27,404-414.

Johnson, AB, Bake, S, Lewis, DL and Sohrabji, F. (2006) "Temporal Expression of IL-1beta Protein and mRNA in the Brain after Systemic LPS Injection is Affected by Age and Estrogen". Journal of Neuroimmunology, 174,82-91.

Sohrabji, F and Bake, S. (2006) "Age-related changes in neuroprotection: Is estrogen pro-inflammatory for the reproductive senescent brain?". Endocrine, 29,191-197.

Sohrabji, F. (2005) "Estrogen: a neuroprotective or proinflammatory hormone? Emerging evidence from reproductive aging models". Annals N Y Academy of Science, 1052,75-90.

Nordell, VL, Lewis, DK, Bake, S and Sohrabji, F.(2005) "The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR mediates early anti-inflammatory effects of estrogen in the forebrain of young adult rats". BMC Neuroscience, 6,58.

Johnson, AB and Sohrabji, F. (2004) "Estrogen's effects on central and circulating immune cells vary with reproductive age". Neurobiol. Aging, Neurobiology of Aging, 26,1365-1374.

Bake, S and Sohrabji, F. (2004) "17beta-Estradiol differentially regulates blood-brain barrier permeability in young and aging female rats". Endocrinoogy. 145,5471-5475.

Jezierski, MJ and Sohrabji, F. (2003) "Estrogen regulates retrograde transport of BDNF in a forebrain circuit". Endocrinology, 144, 5022-5029.

Nordell, VL, Scarborough, MM and Sohrabji, F. (2003) "Estrogen regulation of cytokine expression in the injured forebrain is dependent on reproductive age". Neurobiology of Aging, 24,733-743.

Jezierski, MJ, Sturm, AK, Scarborough, MM and Sohrabji, F. (2001) "NGF stimulation increases JNK2 phosphorylation and reduces caspase-3 activity in the olfactory bulb of estrogen-replaced animals". Endocrinology, 142, 2401-2404.

Jezierski, MJ and Sohrabji, F. (2001) "Neurotrophin expression in the reproductively senescent forebrain is refractory to estrogen stimulation". Neurobiology of Aging, 22,311-321.

Sohrabji, F, Peeples, KW and Marroquin, O. (2000) "Local and cortical effects of olfactory bulb lesions on trophic support and cholinergic function and their modulation by estrogen". Journal Neurobiology, 45, 61-74.