Dr. Leranth's Lab

Research Interests

Our laboratory is involved in a broad array of studies concerning the actions of gonadal hormones and the xenoestrogen, bisphenol A on the central nervous system of both rodents and subhuman primates. Data accumulated from animal experiments and clinical studies demonstrate that gonadal hormones have many effects on the nervous system that extend beyond regulating gonadotropin and prolactin secretion and modulating sexual behavior. Among these are the effects that gonadal hormones have on mnemonic functions and protecting neurons. 

Our primary interest is the indirect synaptoplastic effect of both estrogen and testosterone on brain areas associated with cognitive functions, including the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and the ventral mesencephalic dopamine system. The other major field of our interest is to determine the way via bisphenol A exerts its negative effects on cognitive and social behaviors. In addition to these studies, this laboratory is also involved in investigating the morphological alterations in the prefrontal cortex of a non-human primate model of dopamine deficit and schizophrenia, determine the role of septal pathways in the regulation of hippocampal function by stress and antidepressant treatments, the effectiveness of growth factors produced by fetal striatal or kidney tissue, a specific striatal cell type, or the growth factor, GDNF, delivered biologically from encapsulated cells on the survival and integration of grafted, fetal dopamine cells into the striatum of a primate model of Parkinson’s disease. 

The main collaborators in these projects are Drs. Roth’s, Redmond’s and Elsworth’s laboratories.

Leranth, Csaba

Principal Investigator

Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and of Neurobiology

Research Interests:Positive gonadal hormonal negative bisphenol A effects


    Elsworth JD, Jentsch JD, Groman SM, Roth RH, Redmond ED Jr and Leranth C: Low circulating levels of bisphenol-A induce cognitive deficits and loss of asymmetric spine synapses in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of adult male monkeys. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Jun 1;523 (8) :1248-57. Epub 2015 Feb 17. PMID: 25557059

    Elsworth JD, Groman SM, Jentsch JD, Leranth C, Redmond DE Jr, Kim JD, Diano S and Roth RH: Primate phencyclidine model of schizophrenia: sex-specific effects on cognition, brain derived neurotrophic factor, spine synapses, and dopamine turnover in prefrontal cortex. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Oct 31;18 (6) Epub 2014 Oct 31. PMID: 25522392

    Wakeman DR, Redmond DE Jr, Dodiya HB, Sladek JR Jr, Leranth C, Teng YD, Samulski RJ and Snyder EY: Human neural stem cells survive long term in the midbrain of dopamine-depleted monkeys after GDNF overexpression and project neurites toward an appropriate target. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Jun;3 (6) :692-701. Epub 2014 Apr 17. PMID: 24744393

    Mendell AL, Szigeti-Buck K, MacLusky NJ and Leranth C: Orchidectomy does not significantly affect spine synapse density in the CA3 hippocampal subfield in St. Kitts vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus). Neurosci Lett. 2014 Jan 24;559 :189-92. Epub 2013 Nov 20. PMID: 24269983

    Redmond DE Jr, McEntire CR, Kingsbery JP, Leranth C, Elsworth JD, Bjugstad KB, Roth RH, Samulski RJ and Sladek JR Jr: Comparison of fetal mesencephalic grafts, AAV-delivered GDNF, and both combined in an MPTP-induced nonhuman primate Parkinson's model. Mol Ther. 2013 Dec;21 (12) :2160-8. Epub 2013 Aug 5. PMID: 23913185

    Elsworth JD, Leranth C, Redmond DE Jr and Roth RH: Loss of asymmetric spine synapses in prefrontal cortex of motor-asymptomatic, dopamine-depleted, cognitively impaired MPTP-treated monkeys. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 May;16 (4) :905-12. Epub 2012 Sep 4. PMID: 22947206

    Elsworth JD, Jentsch JD, Vandevoort CA, Roth RH, Jr DE and Leranth C: Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A impacts midbrain dopamine neurons and hippocampal spine synapses in non-human primates. Neurotoxicology. 2013 Mar;35 :113-20. Epub 2013 Jan 18. PMID: 23337607

    Miettinen R, Hajszan T, Riedel A, Szigeti-Buck K and Leranth C: Estimation of the total number of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons: new methodology applied to helpless rats. J Neurosci Methods. 2012 Mar 30;205 (1) :130-8. Epub 2012 Jan 2. PMID: 22230770

    Elsworth JD, Hajszan T, Leranth C and Roth RH: Loss of asymmetric spine synapses in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of cognitively impaired phencyclidine-treated monkeys. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011 Nov;14 (10) :1411-5. Epub 2011 Jun 27. PMID: 21733230

    Elsworth JD, Morrow BA, Hajszan T, Leranth C and Roth RH: Phencyclidine-induced loss of asymmetric spine synapses in rodent prefrontal cortex is reversed by acute and chronic treatment with olanzapine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 Sep;36 (10) :2054-61. Epub 2011 Jun 15. PMID: 21677652

    Aldad TS, Rahmani N, Leranth C and Taylor HS: Bisphenol-A exposure alters endometrial progesterone receptor expression in the nonhuman primate. Fertil Steril. 2011 Jul;96 (1) :175-9. Epub 2011 May 4. PMID: 21536273

    Hajszan T and Leranth C: Bisphenol A interferes with synaptic remodeling. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2010 Oct;31 (4) :519-30. Epub 2010 Jul 6. PMID: 20609373

    Markakis EA, Vives KP, Bober J, Leichtle S, Leranth C, Beecham J, Elsworth JD, Roth RH, Samulski RJ and Redmond DE Jr: Comparative transduction efficiency of AAV vector serotypes 1-6 in the substantia nigra and striatum of the primate brain. Mol Ther. 2010 Mar;18 (3) :588-93. Epub 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20010918

    Hajszan T, Szigeti-Buck K, Sallam NL, Bober J, Parducz A, Maclusky NJ, Leranth C and Duman RS: Effects of estradiol on learned helplessness and associated remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in female rats. Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Jan 15;67 (2) :168-74. PMID: 19811775

    Hajszan T, Dow A, Warner-Schmidt JL, Szigeti-Buck K, Sallam NL, Parducz A, Leranth C and Duman RS: Remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in the rat learned helplessness model of depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Mar 1;65 (5) :392-400. Epub 2008 Nov 12. PMID: 19006787

    Leranth C, Hajszan T, Szigeti-Buck K, Bober J and MacLusky NJ: Bisphenol A prevents the synaptogenic response to estradiol in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of ovariectomized nonhuman primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Sep 16;105 (37) :14187-91. Epub 2008 Sep 3. PMID: 18768812

    Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ and Leranth C: Role of androgens and the androgen receptor in remodeling of spine synapses in limbic brain areas. Horm Behav. 2008 May;53 (5) :638-46. Epub 2007 Dec 31. PMID: 18262185

    Leranth C, Szigeti-Buck K, Maclusky NJ and Hajszan T: Bisphenol A prevents the synaptogenic response to testosterone in the brain of adult male rats. Endocrinology. 2008 Mar;149 (3) :988-94. Epub 2007 Nov 29. PMID: 18048497

    Morrow BA, Hajszan T, Leranth C, Elsworth JD and Roth RH: Prenatal exposure to cocaine is associated with increased number of spine synapses in rat prelimbic cortex. Synapse. 2007 Oct;61 (10) :862-5. PMID: 17630673

    Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ, Johansen JA, Jordan CL and Leranth C: Effects of androgens and estradiol on spine synapse formation in the prefrontal cortex of normal and testicular feminization mutant male rats. Endocrinology. 2007 May;148 (5) :1963-7. Epub 2007 Feb 22. PMID: 17317772

    Naftolin F, Garcia-Segura LM, Horvath TL, Zsarnovszky A, Demir N, Fadiel A, Leranth C, Vondracek-Klepper S, Lewis C, Chang A and Parducz A: Estrogen-induced hypothalamic synaptic plasticity and pituitary sensitization in the control of the estrogen-induced gonadotrophin surge. Reprod Sci. 2007 Feb;14 (2) :101-16. PMID: 17636222

    Gao Q, Mezei G, Nie Y, Rao Y, Choi CS, Bechmann I, Leranth C, Toran-Allerand D, Priest CA, Roberts JL, Gao XB, Mobbs C, Shulman GI, Diano S and Horvath TL: Anorectic estrogen mimics leptin's effect on the rewiring of melanocortin cells and Stat3 signaling in obese animals. Nat Med. 2007 Jan;13 (1) :89-94. Epub 2006 Dec 31. PMID: 17195839

    Hajszan T, Milner TA and Leranth C: Sex steroids and the dentate gyrus. Prog Brain Res. 2007;163 :399-415. PMID: 17765731

    Leranth C and Hajszan T: Extrinsic afferent systems to the dentate gyrus. Prog Brain Res. 2007;163 :63-84. PMID: 17765712

    Hajszan T, Leranth C and Roth RH: Subchronic phencyclidine treatment decreases the number of dendritic spine synapses in the rat prefrontal cortex. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Sep 15;60 (6) :639-44. Epub 2006 Jun 30. PMID: 16814748

    MacLusky NJ, Hajszan T, Johansen JA, Jordan CL and Leranth C: Androgen effects on hippocampal CA1 spine synapse numbers are retained in Tfm male rats with defective androgen receptors. Endocrinology. 2006 May;147 (5) :2392-8. Epub 2006 Jan 26. PMID: 16439462

    Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ and Leranth C: Short-term treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine triggers pyramidal dendritic spine synapse formation in rat hippocampus. Eur J Neurosci. 2005 Mar;21 (5) :1299-303. PMID: 15813939

    Abizaid A, Horvath B, Keefe DL, Leranth C and Horvath TL: Direct visual and circadian pathways target neuroendocrine cells in primates. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Nov;20 (10) :2767-76. PMID: 15548220

    MacLusky NJ, Hajszan T and Leranth C: Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone and flutamide on hippocampal CA1 spine synapse density in male and female rats: implications for the role of androgens in maintenance of hippocampal structure. Endocrinology. 2004 Sep;145 (9) :4154-61. Epub 2004 Jun 3. PMID: 15178643

    Wu M, Hajszan T, Xu C, Leranth C and Alreja M: Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor activation produces a direct excitation of identified septohippocampal cholinergic neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2004 Aug;92 (2) :1216-25. Epub 2004 Mar 24. PMID: 15044519

    Frick KM, Fernandez SM, Bennett JC, Prange-Kiel J, MacLusky NJ and Leranth C: Behavioral training interferes with the ability of gonadal hormones to increase CA1 spine synapse density in ovariectomized female rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Jun;19 (11) :3026-32. PMID: 15182310

    Leranth C, Prange-Kiel J, Frick KM and Horvath TL: Low CA1 spine synapse density is further reduced by castration in male non-human primates. Cereb Cortex. 2004 May;14 (5) :503-10. Epub 2004 Mar 28. PMID: 15054066

    Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ and Leranth C: Dehydroepiandrosterone increases hippocampal spine synapse density in ovariectomized female rats. Endocrinology. 2004 Mar;145 (3) :1042-5. Epub 2003 Nov 26. PMID: 14645116

    Leranth C, Hajszan T and MacLusky NJ: Androgens increase spine synapse density in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of ovariectomized female rats. J Neurosci. 2004 Jan 14;24 (2) :495-9. PMID: 14724248

    Prange-Kiel J, Rune GM and Leranth C: Median raphe mediates estrogenic effects to the hippocampus in female rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Jan;19 (2) :309-17. PMID: 14725625

    Halasy K, Hajszan T, Kovács EG, Lam TT and Leranth C: Distribution and origin of vesicular glutamate transporter 2-immunoreactive fibers in the rat hippocampus. Hippocampus. 2004;14 (7) :908-18. PMID: 15382259

    Hajszan T, Alreja M and Leranth C: Intrinsic vesicular glutamate transporter 2-immunoreactive input to septohippocampal parvalbumin-containing neurons: novel glutamatergic local circuit cells. Hippocampus. 2004;14 (4) :499-509. PMID: 15224985

    Wu M, Hajszan T, Leranth C and Alreja M: Nicotine recruits a local glutamatergic circuit to excite septohippocampal GABAergic neurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Sep;18 (5) :1155-68. PMID: 12956714

    Horvath TL, Diano S, Leranth C, Garcia-Segura LM, Cowley MA, Shanabrough M, Elsworth JD, Sotonyi P, Roth RH, Dietrich EH, Matthews RT, Barnstable CJ and Redmond DE Jr: Coenzyme Q induces nigral mitochondrial uncoupling and prevents dopamine cell loss in a primate model of Parkinson's disease. Endocrinology. 2003 Jul;144 (7) :2757-60. PMID: 12810526

    Lâm TT and Leranth C: Role of the medial septum diagonal band of Broca cholinergic neurons in oestrogen-induced spine synapse formation on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells of female rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2003 May;17 (10) :1997-2005. PMID: 12786965

    Leranth C, Petnehazy O and MacLusky NJ: Gonadal hormones affect spine synaptic density in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of male rats. J Neurosci. 2003 Mar 1;23 (5) :1588-92. PMID: 12629162

    Wu M, Zhang Z, Leranth C, Xu C, van den Pol AN and Alreja M: Hypocretin increases impulse flow in the septohippocampal GABAergic pathway: implications for arousal via a mechanism of hippocampal disinhibition. J Neurosci. 2002 Sep 1;22 (17) :7754-65. PMID: 12196599

    Leranth C, Shanabrough M and Redmond DE Jr: Gonadal hormones are responsible for maintaining the integrity of spine synapses in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of female nonhuman primates. J Comp Neurol. 2002 May 20;447 (1) :34-42. PMID: 11967893