Microscopic image of neuronsDepartment of Integrative Physiology
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0354
phone: 303-492-8154
fax: 303-492-0811

Research Interests

Our main focus is the neural mechanisms underlying stress-related physiology and emotional behavior with a focus on the role of serotonergic systems. Current projects address four main topics:

  1. Mechanisms underlying control of acute and chronic anxiety states - with a focus on interactions among corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and CRF-related neuropeptides
  2. Effects of peripheral immune activation on serotonergic systems, physiology, and emotional behavior - with a focus on the microbiome-gut-brain (MGB) axis
  3. Effects of thermal signals on serotonergic systems, physiology, and emotional behavior
  4. Effects of glucocorticoid hormones on serotonergic systems, physiology, and behavior

Personnel

  • Director: Christopher A. Lowry, PhD
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: Cristian Zambrano, PhD
  • Graduate Students: Kelsey Loupy; Flux Caruso; Christine Foxx; Saydie Sago; Kristin Cler
  • Professional Research Assistant: Ahmed Elsayed, BA
  • Undergraduate Students: Madi Baca, Lauren Milton, Andrea Arnold, Attila Suto, Jessica Stewart, Amalia Luthens, Stephanie Salazar, Kyo Lee, Brandon Marquart, Evan Holbrook, Chang Liu, Evan Schaefer, Drake Kienzle, Kourtney Creaney

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From left to right, Back row: Kelsey Loupy, PhD; Kyo Lee; Evan Holbrook; Christopher Lowry, PhD (PI). 2nd row: Jessica Stewart; Brandon Marquart; Mathew Arnold, PhD; Ahmed Elsayed (Lab Manager); Drake Kienzle, BA. 3rd row: Madi Baca; Amalia Luthens; Stephanie Salazar; Sandra Appiah; Cristian Zambrano, PhD; Flux Caruso, PhD. Front row: Andrea Arnold; Christine Foxx, PhD; Saydie Sago, MS; Kourtney Creaney

Opportunities for Undergraduates

We are looking for enthusiastic, motivated undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining research experience. No prior laboratory research experience or coursework is required. For more information, contact Prof. Christopher Lowry (christopher.lowry@colorado.edu)

Recent Publications

For a complete list of publications, click here.

  • Hassell JE Jr, Fox JH, Arnold MR, Siebler PH, Lieb MW, Schmidt D, Spratt EJ, Smith TM, Nguyen KT, Gates CA, Holmes KS, Schnabel KS, Loupy KM, Erber M, Lowry CA. Treatment with a heat-killed preparation of Mycobacterium vaccae after fear conditioning enhances fear extinction in the fear-potentiated startle paradigm. Brain Behav Immun., 2019 Jun 5. pii: S0889-1591(19)30238-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.06.008. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Lieb MW, Weidner M, Arnold MR, Loupy KM, Nguyen KT, Hassell JE Jr, Schnabel KS, Kern R, Day HEW, Lesch KP, Waider J, Lowry CA. Effects of maternal separation on serotonergic systems in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei of adult male Tph2-deficient mice. Behav Brain Res., 2019 Jul 15:112086. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112086. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Sprecher KE, Ritchie HK, Burke TM, Depner CM, Smits AN, Dorrestein PC, Fleshner M, Knight R, Lowry CA, Turek FW, Vitaterna MH, Wright KP Jr. Triat-like vulnerability of higher-order cognition and ability to maintain wakefulness during combined sleep restriction and circadian misalignment. Sleep, 2019 May 9. pii: zsz113. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz113. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Waider J, Popp S, Mlinar B, Montalbano A, Bonfiglio F, Aboagye B, Thuy E, Kern R, Thiel C, Araragi N, Svirin E, Schmitt-Böhrer AG, Corradetti R, Lowry CA, Lesch KP. Serotonin Deficiency Increases Context-Dependent Fear Learning Through Modulation of Hippocampal Activity. Front Neurosci., 2019 Apr 24;13:245. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00245. eCollection 2019.

  • Amoroso M, Kempter E, Eleslambouly T, Lowry CA, Langgartner D, Reber SO. Intranasal Mycobacterium vaccae prevents stress-induced aggravation of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis. Brain Behav Immun., 2019 May 3. pii: S0889-1591(18)31164-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.05.005. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Smith DG, Martinelli R, Besra GS, Illarionov PA, Szatmari I, Brazda P, Allen MA, Xu W, Wang X, Nagy L, Dowell RD, Rook GAW, Rosa Brunet L, Lowry CA. Identification and characterization of a novel anti-inflammatory lipid isolated from Mycobacterium vaccae, a soil-derived bacterium with immunoregulatory and stress resilience properties. Psychopharmacology (Berl)., 2019 May;236(5):1653-1670. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-05253-9. Epub 2019 May 22.

  • Sharma A, Richardson M, Cralle L, Stamper CE, Maestre JP, Stearns-Yoder KA, Postolache TT, Bates KL, Kinney KA, Brenner LA, Lowry CA, Gilbert JA, Hoisington AJ. Longitudinal homogenization of the microbiome between both occupants and the built environment in a cohort of United States Air Force Cadets. Microbiome, 2019 May 2;7(1):70. doi: 10.1186/s40168-019-0686-6.

  • Noronha SSR, Lima PM, Campos GSV, Chírico MTT, Abreu AR, Figueiredo AB, Silva FCS, Chianca DA Jr, Lowry CA, De Menezes RCA. Association of high-fat diet with neuroinflammation, anxiety-like defensive behavioral responses, and altered thermoregulatory responses in male rats. Brain Behav Immun., 2019 Apr 22. pii: S0889-1591(19)30137-0. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.04.030. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Raber J, Arzy S, Bertolus JB, Depue B, Haas HE, Kangas M, Kensinger E, Lowry CA, Marusak HA, Minnier J, Mouly AM, Muehlberger A, Norrholm SD, Peltonen K, Pinna G, Rabinak C, Shiban Y, Soreq H, van der Kooij MA, Lowe L, Weingast LT, Yamashita P, Boutros SW. Current understanding of fear learning and memory in human and animal models and the value of a linguistic approach for analyzing fear learning and memory in humans. Neurosci Biobehav Rev., 2019 Apr 7. pii: S0149-7634(18)30642-0. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.015. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

  • Corona CC, Zhang M, Wadhawan A, Daue ML, Groer MW, Dagdag A, Lowry CA, Hoisington AJ, Ryan KA, Stiller JW, Fuchs D, Mitchell BD, Postolache TT. Toxoplasma gondii IgG associations with sleep-wake problems, sleep duration and timing. Pteridines, 2019 Feb;30(1):1-9. doi: 10.1515/pteridines-2019-0001. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

  • Wadhawan A, Stiller JW, Potocki E, Okusaga O, Dagdag A, Lowry CA, Benros ME, Postolache TT. Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicidal Behavior: A Review. J Alzheimers Dis., 2019, 68(4):1339-1370. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181055.

  • Hassell JE Jr, Collins VE, Li H, Rogers JT, Austin RC, Visceau C, Nguyen KT, Orchinik M, Lowry CA, Renner KJ. Local inhibition of uptake2 transporters augments stress-induced increases in serotonin in the rat central amygdala. Neuroscience Letters, 2019 Feb 15. pii: S0304-3940(19)30105-3. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Loupy KM, Arnold MR, Hassell JE Jr, Lieb MW, Milton LN, Cler KE, Fox JH, Sieber PH, Schmidt D, Noronha SISR, Day HEW, Lowry CA. Evidence that preimmunization with a heat-killed preparation of Mycobacterium vaccae reduces corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA expression in the extended amygdala in a fear-potentiated startle paradigm. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2018 Dec 28. pii: S0889-1591(18)31248-0. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Arnold MR, Williams PH, McArthur JA, Archuleta AR, O'Neill CE, Hassell JE JR, Smith DG, Bachtell RK, Lowry CA. Effects of chronic caffeine exposure during adolescence and subsequent acute caffeine challenge during adulthood on rat brain serotonergic systems. Neuropharmacology, 2018 Dec 20, 148, 257-271.

  • Yamashita PS, Rosa DS, Lowry CA, Zangrossi H Jr. Serotonin actions within the prelimbic cortex induce anxiolysis mediated by serotonin 1a receptors. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2018 Dec 19. doi: 10.1177/0269881118817384. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Brenner LA, Hoisington AJ, Stearns-Yoder KA, Stamper CE, Heinze JD, Postolache TT, Hadidi DA, Hoffmire CA, Stanislawski MA, Lowry CA. Military-related exposures, social determinants of health, and dysbiosis: The United States-Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP). Frontiers in Cellular Infectious Microbiology, 2018 Nov 19, 8, 400.

  • Hale MW, Lukkes JL, Dady KF, Kelly KJ, Paul ED, Smith DG, Heinze JD, Raison CL, Lowry CA. Interactions between whole-body heating and citalopram on body temperature, antidepressant-like behaviour, and neurochemistry in adolescent male rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 2018 Nov 20, 359, 428-439.

  • Langgartner D, Lowry CA, Reber SO. Old Friends, immunoregulation, and stress resilience. Pflugers Archives, 2018 Nov 1, 471(2), 237-269.

  • Hassell JE Jr, Nguyen KT, Gates CA, Lowry CA. The impact of stressor exposure and glucocorticoids on anxiety and fear. Current Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience, 2018 Oct 25, doi: 10.1007/7854_2018_63. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Akram F, Fuchs D, Daue M, Nijjar G, Ryan A, Benros ME, Okusaga O, Baca-Garcia E, Brenner LA, Lowry CA, Ryan KA, Pavlovich M, Mitchell BD, Snitker S, Postolache TT. Association of plasma nitrite levels with obesity and metabolic syndrome in the Old Order Amish. Obesity Science Practices, 2018 Aug 1, 4(5), 468-476.

Lowry Lab photo August 2019Lowry Lab, August 2019