Michelle Davies (Arnhold)

Ph.D. 2008

Thesis Title:

Peripheral Mechanisms Mediating Stress Relief Following Water Restriction-Induced Drinking in the Rat

Current Position:

Associate Professor of Neuroscience/Physiology, University of Wisconsin-Superior

Undergraduate Institution and Major/Degree:

Colorado College, BA, Neuroscience, 1997

Major Advisor(s):

William Engeland, Ph.D.

Research Description:

Inhibition of the HPA axis is traditionally thought to occur through glucocorticoid negative feedback; however, under conditions of chronic food or water restriction, rapid inhibition of plasma corticosterone occurs following restriction-induced feeding or drinking. Rapid inhibition if the HPA axis is thought to occur through neural pathways independent of glucocorticoid negative feedback. Furthermore, rapid inhibition of the HPA axis can be classically conditioned. These data suggest that repeated alleviation from stress recruits inhibitory afferents that are not active during inhibition of the HPA axis following acute stress. The focus of my research is to examine the hypothesis that repeated inhibition of the HPA axis in a water restriction model recruits multi-synaptic efferents that contribute to inhibition of the PVN. Moreover, additional experiments are proposed to demonstrate that inhibition of hippocampal efferents prevents the conditioned fall in corticosterone.

Lab Rotations:

  • Michael Georgieff
  • Bill Engeland
  • Moses Njenga

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • GRAD 8101 Preparing Future Faculty (Teaching in Higher Education)
  • PHCL 8208 Neuropsychopharmacology
  • PHSL 5101 Human Physiology
  • PSY 8026 Neuro-Immune Interactions
  • PHSL 8216 Selected Topics in Autonomic and Neuroendocrine Regulation (journal club)

Conferences Attended and Presentations:

  • American Physiological Society Conference "Neurohypophyseal Hormones: From Genomics and Physiology to Disease" Steamboat Springs CO, July 2005
  • The Endocrine Society "The Neuroendocrinology of Stress" San Diego CA, June 2005
  • Society for Neuroscience, San Diego CA, November 2001, Orlando FL, November 2002, San Diego CA, October 2004
  • Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, Chicago IL, May 1997

Committee Members:

  • Chris Honda - Chair
  • Allen Levine
  • Paul Mermelstein
  • John Osborn
  • Bill Engeland - Advisor

Selected Publications:

  • Arnhold M.M., Yoder J.M., Engeland W.C. 2009 Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy prevents reduction in plasma corticosterone when water-restricted rats drink - a potential role for the vagus in stress relief. Endocrinology 150(5) 2300-7.
  • Arnhold M.M., Engeland WC. 2007 Differential regulation of parvocellular activity in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus following a single or repeated episode of dehydration induced drinking. Experimental Neurology 206(1):126-36.
  • Wotus C, Arnhold M.M., Engeland WC. 2007 Dehydration-induced drinking results in rapid decreases in cFos expression in hypothalamic paraventricular neurons expressing vasopressin, but not corticotropin-releasing hormone. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp. Physiol 292(3):R1349-58.
  • Ulrich-Lai, Y.M., Arnhold, M.M., and Engeland, W.C. 2006 Adrenal splanchnic innervation contributes to the diurnal rhythm of plasma corticosterone in rats by modulating adrenal sensitivity to ACTH. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp. Physiol  290(4):R1128-35.
  • Engeland, W.C. and Arnhold, M.M. 2005 Neural circuitry in the regulation of adrenal corticosterone rhythmicity. Endocrine.  28(3):325-32.

Awards and Honors:

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, 2001-2002
  • Pharmaconeuroimmunology Training Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2004-present
  • Stark Fellowship, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, 2005

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience, 2004- present
  • American Physiological Society, 2004-present
  • Endocrine Society, 2004-present
  • Women in Endocrinology, 2005-present
  • American Neuroendocrine Society, 2005-present
  • Graduate Women in Science 2005-present

Home Town:

  • Grand Rapids, MN

Non-Neuroscience interests:

  • Dance (Mitch taught jazz and modern dance and spent time performing in her 5 years between undergrad and starting grad school)
  • Yoga/Pilates
  • Outdoorsy things: hiking, camping, etc.
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
Michelle Davies (Arnhold)