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.

Lab Members

Klara Szigeti-Buck

Research Associate 3 MS

View Full Profile


Golub MS, Hackett EP, Hogrefe CE, Leranth C, Elsworth JD, Roth RH: Cognitive performance of juvenile monkeys after chronic fluoxetine treatment. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2017 Aug; 2017 May 1. PMID: 28521247

Baka J, Csakvari E, Huzian O, Dobos N, Siklos L, Leranth C, MacLusky NJ, Duman RS, Hajszan T: Stress induces equivalent remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in a simulated postpartum environment and in a female rat model of major depression. Neuroscience. 2017 Feb 20; 2016 Dec 22. PMID: 28012870

MacLusky NJ, Thomas G, Leranth C: Low dietary soy isoflavonoids increase hippocampal spine synapse density in ovariectomized rats. Brain Res. 2017 Feb 15; 2017 Jan 4. PMID: 28063855

Elsworth JD, Jentsch JD, Groman SM, Roth RH, Redmond ED Jr, 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; 2015 Feb 17. PMID: 25557059

Elsworth JD, Groman SM, Jentsch JD, Leranth C, Redmond DE Jr, Kim JD, Diano S, 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; 2014 Oct 31. PMID: 25522392

Wakeman DR, Redmond DE Jr, Dodiya HB, Sladek JR Jr, Leranth C, Teng YD, Samulski RJ, 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; 2014 Apr 17. PMID: 24744393

Mendell AL, Szigeti-Buck K, MacLusky NJ, 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; 2013 Nov 20. PMID: 24269983

Redmond DE Jr, McEntire CR, Kingsbery JP, Leranth C, Elsworth JD, Bjugstad KB, Roth RH, Samulski RJ, 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; 2013 Aug 5. PMID: 23913185

Elsworth JD, Leranth C, Redmond DE Jr, 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; 2012 Sep 4. PMID: 22947206

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

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

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

Elsworth JD, Morrow BA, Hajszan T, Leranth C, 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; 2011 Jun 15. PMID: 21677652

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

Hajszan T, Leranth C: Bisphenol A interferes with synaptic remodeling. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2010 Oct; 2010 Jul 6. PMID: 20609373

Markakis EA, Vives KP, Bober J, Leichtle S, Leranth C, Beecham J, Elsworth JD, Roth RH, Samulski RJ, 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; 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20010918

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

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

Leranth C, Hajszan T, Szigeti-Buck K, Bober J, 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; 2008 Sep 3. PMID: 18768812

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

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

Morrow BA, Hajszan T, Leranth C, Elsworth JD, Roth RH: Prenatal exposure to cocaine is associated with increased number of spine synapses in rat prelimbic cortex. Synapse. 2007 Oct. PMID: 17630673

Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ, Johansen JA, Jordan CL, 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; 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, Parducz A: Estrogen-induced hypothalamic synaptic plasticity and pituitary sensitization in the control of the estrogen-induced gonadotrophin surge. Reprod Sci. 2007 Feb. 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, Horvath TL: Anorectic estrogen mimics leptin's effect on the rewiring of melanocortin cells and Stat3 signaling in obese animals. Nat Med. 2007 Jan; 2006 Dec 31. PMID: 17195839

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

Leranth C, Hajszan T: Extrinsic afferent systems to the dentate gyrus. Prog Brain Res. 2007. PMID: 17765712

Hajszan T, Leranth C, Roth RH: Subchronic phencyclidine treatment decreases the number of dendritic spine synapses in the rat prefrontal cortex. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Sep 15; 2006 Jun 30. PMID: 16814748

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

Abizaid A, Horvath B, Keefe DL, Leranth C, Horvath TL: Direct visual and circadian pathways target neuroendocrine cells in primates. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Nov. PMID: 15548220

MacLusky NJ, Hajszan T, 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; 2004 Jun 3. PMID: 15178643

Wu M, Hajszan T, Xu C, Leranth C, Alreja M: Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor activation produces a direct excitation of identified septohippocampal cholinergic neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2004 Aug; 2004 Mar 24. PMID: 15044519

Frick KM, Fernandez SM, Bennett JC, Prange-Kiel J, MacLusky NJ, 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. PMID: 15182310

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

Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ, Leranth C: Dehydroepiandrosterone increases hippocampal spine synapse density in ovariectomized female rats. Endocrinology. 2004 Mar; 2003 Nov 26. PMID: 14645116

Leranth C, Hajszan T, MacLusky NJ: Androgens increase spine synapse density in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of ovariectomized female rats. J Neurosci. 2004 Jan 14. PMID: 14724248

Prange-Kiel J, Rune GM, Leranth C: Median raphe mediates estrogenic effects to the hippocampus in female rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Jan. PMID: 14725625

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

Hajszan T, Alreja M, Leranth C: Intrinsic vesicular glutamate transporter 2-immunoreactive input to septohippocampal parvalbumin-containing neurons: novel glutamatergic local circuit cells. Hippocampus. 2004. PMID: 15224985

Wu M, Hajszan T, Leranth C, Alreja M: Nicotine recruits a local glutamatergic circuit to excite septohippocampal GABAergic neurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Sep. 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, 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. PMID: 12810526

Lâm TT, 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. PMID: 12786965

Leranth C, Petnehazy O, MacLusky NJ: Gonadal hormones affect spine synaptic density in the CA1 hippocampal subfield of male rats. J Neurosci. 2003 Mar 1. PMID: 12629162