Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Peter J Duncan

My research focuses on how corticotroph excitability is regulated by hypothalamic secretagogues and glucocorticoid negative feedback.

Dr Peter J Duncan

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

Personal Profile 

  • 2015-Present: Postdoctoral researcher, Shipston lab, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2010-2014: PhD Physiology, Shipston lab, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2006-2010: BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh.

Research

Stress-related illness represents a major problem to health and society. The neuroendocrine response to stress is governed by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Corticotroph cells from the anterior pituitary are electrically active and patterns of excitability are believed to underlie hormone secretion.

My research focuses on how corticotroph excitability is regulated by hypothalamic secretagogues and glucocorticoid negative feedback. Chronic stress results in higher basal and stress-induced hormone secretion in corticotrophs, which we hypothesise is due to a remodelling of the ion channel landscape. Further understanding could provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Relevant Publications 

Duncan PJ, Tabak J, Ruth P, Bertram R & Shipston MJ (2016). Glucocorticoids Inhibit CRH/AVP-Evoked Bursting Activity of Male Murine Anterior Pituitary Corticotrophs. Endocrinology 157, 3108–3121.

Duncan PJ & Shipston MJ (2016). BK Channels and the Control of the Pituitary. Int Rev Neurobiol 128, 343–368.

Duncan PJ, Şengül S, Tabak J, Ruth P, Bertram R & Shipston MJ (2015). Large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels promote secretagogue-induced transition from spiking to bursting in murine anterior pituitary corticotrophs. J Physiol 593, 1197–1211.