William C. Engeland, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

E-MAIL: engel002@umn.edu


Research Interests:

The focus of the laboratory is to delineate neuroendocrine mechanisms for the control of secretory function of the adrenal cortex.

Currently, we are addressing the following two primary research questions:

1. Since adrenal cells express circadian clock genes, rhythms in corticosterone secretion may be dependent on an adrenal pacemaker that generates the secretory rhythm. Ongoing experiments are using mPER2::Luciferase (mPER2Luc) knockin mice to test the hypothesis that inputs to the adrenal that include ACTH and sympathetic neural activity entrain the adrenal clock that in turn generates oscillations in corticosterone output.

2. Using water restriction and drinking as a model of stress relief, our experiments have established that vagal-mediated mechanisms are involved in rapid decreases in plasma corticosterone when dehydrated rats drink. Activation of the vagus nerve could reduce glucocorticoids rapidly and thus, play an important role in limiting the adverse effects of glucocorticoid exposure. Ongoing experiments are addressing this possibility.


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Engeland WC, Massman L, Mishra S, Yoder JM, Leng S, Pignatti E, Piper ME, Carlone DL, Breault DT, Kofuji P. The adrenal clock preventsaberrant light-induced alterations in circadian glucocorticoid rhythms. Endocrinology. 2018 Oct 12. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00769.
  • Kofuji P, Mure LS, Massman LJ, Purrier N, Panda S, Engeland WC. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are necessary for light entrainment of peripheral clocks. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 16;11(12):e0168651.
  • Engeland WC, Yoder JM, Karsten CA, Kofuji P. Phase-dependent shifting of the adrenal clock by acute stress-induced ACTH. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2016 Jun 29;7:81.
  • Razzoli M, McCallum J, Gurney A, Engeland WC, Bartolomucci A. Chronic stress aggravates glucose intolerance in leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice. Genes Nutr. 2015;10(3):458.
  • Foss JD, Wainford RD, Engeland WC, Fink GD, Osborn JW. A novel method of selective ablation of afferent renal nerves by periaxonal application of capsaicin. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015;308:R112-22.
  • Raff H, Gehrand A, Bruder ED, Hoffman MJ, Engeland WC, Moreno C. Renin knockout rat: control of adrenal aldosterone and corticosterone synthesis in vitro and adrenal gene expression. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015;308:R73-7.
  • Purrier N, Engeland WC, Kofuji P. Mice deficient of glutamatergic signaling from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells exhibit abnormal circadian photoentrainment. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 30;9(10):e111449.
  • Razzoli M, Karsten C, Yoder JM, Bartolomucci A, Engeland WC. Chronic subordination stress phase advances adrenal and anterior pituitary clock gene rhythms. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014;307:R198-205.
  • Yoder JM, Brandeland M, Engeland WC. Phase-dependent resetting of the adrenal clock by ACTH in vitro. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014;306:R387-93.
  • Engeland WC. Sensitization of endocrine organs to anterior pituitary hormones by the autonomic nervous system. Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;117:37-44.
  • Chlan LL, Engeland WC, Savik K. Does music influence stress in mechanically ventilated patients? Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2013;29:121-7.
  • Veitenheimer BJ, Engeland WC, Guzman PA, Fink GD, Osborn JW. Effect of global and regional sympathetic blockade on arterial pressure during water deprivation in conscious rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012;303:H1022-34.
  • Engeland WC, Yoder JM. The suprachiasmatic nucleus gets split: why does cortisol respond but not ACTH? Endocrinology. 2012;153:546-8.

Former Graduate Students:

Michelle Arnhold (Ph.D. 2008, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Cheryl Wotus (Ph.D. 2003, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Yve Ulrich-Lai, (Ph.D. 2002, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Ada I. Fraticelli, (M.S. 2001, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Michael P. Jasper (Ph.D., Neurobiology, Brown University) Employed as Senior Manager, Medical Writing at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA

Jagruti Patel (M.S., Biomedical Science, Brown University), Employed as Plastic Surgeon, Beverly Hospital, Beverly, MA

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