"This meeting is incredibly diverse, reflecting the fact that the more we learn about the two neurohypophyspeal hormones the more we understand what wide-ranging effects they exert on a broad range of organs, including the brain itself," the conference organizer, Celia Sladek, said. "Their effects go from water homeostasis and cardiovascular function to parenting and monogamous behavior, even eating and perhaps autism," she added. "The neurohypophyseal system itself is a model for studying neuronal mechanisms, gene regulation/mutation and glial plasticity," noted Sladek, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.
Nobel laureate Agre heads three keynoters
Sladek said the three major speakers capture the diversity of presentations:
Peter Agre of Johns Hopkins: Agre's discovery of aquaporins, the cell membranes' water channels, led to his Nobel Prize. Agre will discuss aquaporins' relationship to pathogenesis.
Mitsuhiro Kawata, Kyoto University of Medicine: the effects of steroid hormones in the brain, including hormone replacement therapy.
Larry Young, Emory: vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) receptor roles in such social/emotional behavior as parenting, promiscuity and romance and in related disorders such as autism.
10 symposia from genomics to NH receptor analogs in clinical setting
The four-day conference includes 10 symposia and four poster sessions featuring presentations by more than 100 researchers. The symposia are: