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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
A legacy of life-saving research and humane animal care

Ei Terasawa, PHD



Ei Terasawa


Contact Information

Ei Terasawa’s email

(608) 263-3579

Other web pages

Aligned research focus

Children’s Health and Women’s Health

Organ system/disease focus

Brain (Hypothalamus)

Research description

My research focuses on elucidating the function of GnRH neurons and the mechanism of puberty onset. Because it is very difficult to conduct cellular and molecular studies in humans, some years ago we developed an excellent non-human primate model with a primary cell culture system, in vitro, and a measurement of GnRH release, in vivo. Both approaches are powerful, highly technical and unique in the field of neuroendocrine research. While GnRH cell cultures, derived from the embryonic nasal placode, provide the tool to study the mechanism of GnRH pulse-generation, the rapid actions of steroid hormones, and epigenetic control of GnRH neuronal maturation, the in vivo measurement of GnRH, other neuropeptides and neurotransmitters allows assessment of hypothalamic function under various physiological conditions, including the events across puberty. Currently, we are studying how an accelerated increase in body weight impacts the timing of puberty by analyzing epigenetic control of GnRH neuronal maturation and the epigenetic mechanism of estrogen action in GnRH neurons.

Selected references

Kenealy BP, Keen KL, Kapoor A, Terasawa E. 2016. Neuroestradiol in the stalk median eminence of female rhesus macaques decreases in association with puberty onset. Endocrinology. 157:70-76.

Kenealy BP, Keen KL, Garcia JP, Richter DJ, Terasawa E. 2015. Prolonged infusion of estradiol benzoate into the stalk median eminence stimulates release of GnRH and kisspeptin in ovariectomized female rhesus macaques. Endocrinology. 156:1804-1814.

Kurian JR, Keen KL, Kenealy BP, Garcia JP, Hedman CJ, Terasawa E. 2015. Acute Influences of Bisphenol A Exposure on Hypothalamic Release of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone and Kisspeptin in Female Rhesus Monkeys. Endocrinology. 156:2563-2570.

Terasawa E, Guerriero KA, Plant TM. 2013. Kisspeptin and puberty in mammals. Adv Exp Med Biol. c784:253-273.

Kenealy BP, Kapoor A, Guerriero KA, Keen KL, Garcia JP, Kurian JR, Ziegler TE, Terasawa E. 2013. Neuroestradiol in the hypothalamus contributes to the regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone release. J Neurosci. 33:19051-19059.

Terasawa E, Kurian JR, Keen KL, Shiel NA, Colman RJ, Capuano SV. 2012. Body weight impact on puberty: effects of high-calorie diet on puberty onset in female rhesus monkeys. Endocrinology. 153:1696-1705.