Bridget M Nugent

Bridget M Nugent
U.S. Food and Drug Administration | FDA · Office of Women's Health

PhD

About

39
Publications
10,142
Reads
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2,452
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - June 2018
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2014 - August 2017
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2012 - July 2014
Yale University
Position
  • Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Fellow
Education
August 2006 - May 2012
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
September 2001 - May 2004
New York University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
The developing mammalian brain is destined for a female phenotype unless exposed to gonadal hormones during a perinatal sensitive period. It has been assumed that the undifferentiated brain is masculinized by direct induction of transcription by ligand-activated nuclear steroid receptors. We found that a primary effect of gonadal steroids in the hi...
Article
Full-text available
Brain sexual differentiation in rodents results from the perinatal testicular androgen surge. In the preoptic area (POA), estradiol aromatized from testosterone upregulates the production of the proinflammatory molecule, prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) to produce sex-specific brain development. PGE(2) produces a two-fold greater density of dendritic sp...
Article
Full-text available
Epigenetic changes in the nervous system are emerging as a critical component of enduring effects induced by early life experience, hormonal exposure, trauma and injury, or learning and memory. Sex differences in the brain are largely determined by steroid hormone exposure during a perinatal sensitive period that alters subsequent hormonal and nonh...
Article
The study of sex differences in the brain is a topic of neuroscientific study that has broad reaching implications for culture, society and biomedical science. Recent research in rodent models has led to dramatic shifts in our views of the mechanisms underlying the sexual differentiation of the brain. These include the surprising discoveries of a r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Uncovering the genetic, physiological, and developmental mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation is necessary for understanding how genetic and genomic variation shape phenotypic variation and for discovering possible targets of selection. Although the neural and endocrine mechanisms underlying social behavior are evolutionarily ancient, we lack...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual selection arising from sperm competition has driven the evolution of immense variation in ejaculate allocation and sperm characteristics not only among species, but also among males within a species. One question that has received little attention is how cooperation among males affects these patterns. Here we ask how male alternative reprodu...
Article
Introduction Despite a wealth of epidemiological evidence that cumulative parental lifetime stress experiences prior to conception are determinant of offspring developmental trajectories, there is a lack of insight on how these previous stress experiences are stored and communicated intergenerationally. Preconception experiences may impact offsprin...
Article
Full-text available
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a unique mode of intercellular communication capable of incredible specificity in transmitting signals involved in cellular function, including germ cell maturation. Spermatogenesis occurs in the testes, behind a protective barrier to ensure safeguarding of germline DNA from environmental insults. Following DNA comp...
Article
While extensive research has focused on how social interactions evolve, the fitness consequences of the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying these interactions have rarely been documented, especially in the wild. Here, we measure how the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying male behavior affecting mating success and sperm competition in the ocellat...
Article
Full-text available
Although sex biases in disease presentation are well documented, the mechanisms mediating vulnerability or resilience to diseases are unknown. In utero insults are more likely to produce detrimental health outcomes for males versus females. In our mouse model of prenatal stress, male offspring experience long-term dysregulation of body weight and h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Paternal preconception exposures and insults, including stress, dietary challenge and drugs of abuse, can shape offspring health and disease risk outcomes, as evidenced from retrospective human studies and more recent animal models ¹⁻¹⁶ . Mechanistic examination has implicated small noncoding RNA populations in sperm, including microRNA (miRs), as...
Article
Parental stress exposures are implicated in the risk for offspring neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, prompting critical examination of preconception and prenatal periods as vulnerable to environmental insults such as stress. Evidence from human studies and animal models demonstrates the influence that both maternal and paternal str...
Article
Oxytocin (OT) mediates social habituation in rodent model systems, but its role in mediating this effect in other vertebrates is unknown. We used males of the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, to investigate two aspects of isotocin (IT; an OT homolog) signaling in social habituation. First, we examined the expression of IT receptor 2 (IT...
Article
Gene expression differences between males and females often underlie sexually dimorphic phenotypes and the expression levels of genes that are differentially expressed between the sexes is thought to respond to sexual selection. Most studies on the transcriptomic response to sexual selection treat sexual selection as a single force, but post-mating...
Chapter
Stress during specific developmental stages can alter the trajectory of normal neurodevelopmental processes, often leading to dysfunctional stress responsiveness, cognitive and metabolic disruptions later in life. Here we summarize our current knowledge of the effects of stress exposure during key periods of early brain development and the potentia...
Article
Full-text available
The molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity are not well understood. Identifying mechanisms underlying alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in species for which the behavioral and fitness consequences of this variation are well-characterized provides an opportunity to integrate evolutionary and mechanistic understanding of the main...
Chapter
Sexual differentiation of the brain occurs during a developmental sensitive period under the influence of gonadal steroids. As understanding of the brain has increased in sophistication, so too has the awareness that the enduring consequences of hormonally mediated differentiation are not understood. Epigenetics offers a means by which changes in g...
Article
Full-text available
The notion that epigenetics may play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sex differences in the brain has garnered great enthusiasm but the reality in terms of actual advances has been slow. Two general approaches include the comparison of a particular epigenetic mark in males vs. females and the inhibition of key epigenetic e...
Article
Full-text available
Bridget M Nugent,1 Margaret M McCarthy2 1Department of Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA Abstract: The developing brain is subject to modifying influences, both in utero and early postnatally. So...
Article
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It has been long established that hormones exert enduring influences on the developing brain which direct the reproductive response in adulthood, but the cellular mechanisms by which organizational effects are maintained has not been satisfactorily elucidated. The recent interest in epigenetic modifications to the nervous system highlighted the pot...
Article
Full-text available
Hormones influence countless biological processes across an animal's lifespan. Many hormone-mediated events occur within developmental sensitive periods, during which hormones have the potential to cause permanent tissue-specific alterations in anatomy and physiology. There are numerous selective critical periods in development with different targe...
Article
Full-text available
Steroid hormones of gonadal origin act on the neonatal brain to produce sex differences that underlie adult reproductive physiology and behavior. Neuronal sex differences occur on a variety of levels, including differences in regional volume and/or cell number, morphology, physiology, molecular signaling, and gene expression. In the rodent, many of...
Article
Full-text available
In immature neurons the amino acid neurotransmitter, GABA provides the dominant mode for neuronal excitation by inducing membrane depolarization due to Cl(-) efflux through GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs). The driving force for Cl(-) is outward because the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1) elevates the Cl(-) concentration in these cells. GABA-i...
Article
Full-text available
Epigenetic histone modifications are emerging as important mechanisms for conveyance of and maintenance of effects of the hormonal milieu to the developing brain. We hypothesized that alteration of histone acetylation status early in development by sex steroid hormones is important for sexual differentiation of the brain. It was found that during t...
Article
Full-text available
The establishment of sex-specific neural morphology, which underlies sex-specific behaviors, occurs during a perinatal sensitive window in which brief exposure to gonadal steroid hormones produces permanent masculinization of the brain. In the rodent, estradiol derived from testicular androgens is a principal organizational hormone. The mechanism b...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual differentiation of the brain is a crucial developmental process that enables the lifelong expression of sexually dimorphic behaviors, including those necessary for successful reproduction. During a perinatal sensitive period, gonadal hormones defeminize and masculinize the male brain, and a lack of gonadal steroids allows for feminization in...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual differentiation of the rodent brain occurs during a perinatal critical period when androgen production from the male testis is locally converted to estradiol in neurons, resulting in masculinization of adult sexual behavior. Adult brain responses to hormones are programmed developmentally by estradiol exposure, but the mechanism(s) by which...
Article
Processing of relevant olfactory and pheromonal cues has long been known as an important process necessary for social and sexual behavior in rodents. Several nuclei that receive input from the vomeronasal projection pathway are involved in sexual behavior and show changes in immediate early gene expression after stimulation with a variety of sex-re...