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School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Lawrence Reagan, Ph.D.

Title: Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
Vice Chair
Department: Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3515

Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuro
Basic Science Bldg 1, D-40



University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

The Rockefeller University


The hippocampus is an important integration center for learning and memory and is one of the major target areas for stress in the central nervous system. Exposure to stress may produce reversible synaptic changes, as well as irreversible neuronal damage, depending upon the duration of stress and the pre-existing physiological milieu. My laboratory is interested in determining the underlying structural, neurochemical and functional changes that are produced by stress in the hippocampus in order to achieve a greater understanding of how these alterations may contribute to the development of cognitive impairments in a variety of clinical situations, including recurrent depressive illness.  We are also examining the effects of metabolic stressors like diabetes and obesity on hippocampal neuroplasticity.  Our ongoing studies are examining the ability of pharmacological and lifestyle interventions to restore hippocampal neuroplasticity in experimental models of stress, diabetes and obesity. 

Representative Publications

  • Reznikov LR, Grillo CA, Piroli GG, Pasumarthi RK, Reagan LP, Fadel J (2007) Acute stress mediated increases in extracellular glutamate levels in the rat amygdala: differential effects of antidepressant treatment. Eur. J. Neurosci. 25: 3109-3114.
  • Kelly SJ, Benard K, Munoz C, Lawrence C, Thacker J, Grillo CA, Piroli GG, Reagan LP (2009) Effects of the AMPA receptor modulator S 18983 on measures of cognition and oxidative stress in aged rats. Psychopharmacology. 202:225-235.
  • Grillo CA, Piroli GG, Kaigler KF, Wilson SP, Wilson MA, Reagan LP (2011) Downregulation of hypothalamic insulin receptor expression elicits depressive-like behaviors in rats. Behavioral Brain Research. 222:230-235.
  • Reagan LP (2012) Diabetes as a chronic metabolic stressor: causes, consequences and clinical complications. Experimental Neurology, 233:68-78.
  • Piroli GG, Reznikov LR, Hagar JM, Grillo CA, Fadel JR, Reagan LP (2013) Tianeptine modulates amygdalar glutamate neurochemistry and synaptic proteins in rats subjected to repeated stress.  Exp. Neurology, 241:184-193.
  • Grillo CA, Piroli GG, Lawrence RC, Wrighten SA, Green AJ, Wilson SP, Sakai RR, Kelly SJ, Wilson MA, Mott DD, Reagan LP (2015)  Hippocampal insulin resistance impairs spatial learning and synaptic plasticity.  Diabetes, 64:3927-3936.
  • Biessels GJ, Reagan LP (2015) Hippocampal insulin resistance and cognitive dysfunction.  Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16:660-671.
  • Macht VA, Woodruff JL, Grillo CA, Wood CS, Wilson MA, Reagan LP (2018) Pathophysiology in a model of Gulf War Illness: contributions of pyridostigmine bromide and stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology.  96:195-202.
  • Grillo CA, Woodruff JL., Macht VA, Reagan LP (2019)  Insulin resistance and hippocampal dysfunction: disentangling peripheral and brain causes from consequences. Experimental Neurology. 318, 71-77.
  • Macht VA, Woodruff JL, Burzynski HE, Grillo CA, Reagan LP, Fadel JR (2020) Interactions between pyridostigmine bromide and stress on glutamatergic neurochemistry: insights from a rat model of Gulf War Illness.  Neurobiology of Stress. 12, 100210.
  • Hersey, M., Woodruff, J.L, Maxwell, N., Sadek, A.T., Bykalo, M.K., Bain, I., Grillo, C.A., Piroli, G.G., Hashemi, P., Reagan, L.P.  High-fat diet induces neuroinflammation and reduces the serotoninergic response to escitalopram in the hippocampus of obese rats.  Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 96, 63-72 (2021).
  • Burzynski, H.B., Macht, V.A., Woodruff, J.L., Crawford, J.N., Erichsen, J.M., Piroli, G.G., Grillo, C.A., Fadel, J.R. and Reagan, L.P.  Pyridostigmine bromide elicits progressive and chronic impairments in the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of male rats.  Neurobiology of Stress, 18, 100446 (2022)

Editorial Board Assignments

Associate Editor, Neurobiology of Stress

Section Editor, Physiology & Behavior

Editorial Board, Experimental Neurology


Medical Pharmacology Content Director for M2 Curriculum
Block Director, Cardiovascular, Renal & Pulmonary Blocks

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.