Justin S Rhodes's research while affiliated with University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and other places

Publications (147)

Article
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Many fish species exhibit natural sex change as part of their life, providing unique opportunities to study sexually-differentiated social behaviors and their plasticity. Past research has shown that behavioral sex change in the female-to-male (protogynous) direction occurs rapidly and well before gonadal sex change. However, little is known about...
Article
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Neuronal Kv7/Potassium Voltage-Gated Channel Subfamily Q (KCNQ) potassium channels underlie M-current that potently suppresses repetitive and burst firing of action potentials (APs). They are mostly heterotetramers of Kv7.2 and Kv7.3 subunits in the hippocampus and cortex, the brain regions important for cognition and behavior. Underscoring their c...
Article
Significance Epileptic encephalopathy (EE) is a devastating neurologic disorder characterized by early-onset seizures with severe cognitive and psychomotor impairments. EE is associated with dominant mutations in the KCNQ2 gene which encodes the K v 7.2 subunit of K v 7 potassium channels. Previously, we reported that multiple EE mutations in the i...
Article
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Genomic manipulation is a useful approach for elucidating the molecular pathways underlying aspects of development, physiology, and behaviour. However, a lack of gene-editing tools appropriated for use in reef fishes has meant the genetic underpinnings for many of their unique traits remain to be investigated. One iconic group of reef fishes ideal...
Article
Endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and ethinylestradiol (EE2), are detected in the marine environment from plastic waste and wastewater effluent. However, their impact on reproduction in sexually labile coral reef fish is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine impacts of environmentally relevant concentrations...
Article
Individuals affected by infantile spasms (IS), such as those carrying mutations in an IS-linked gene, neural precursor cell expressed developmentally downregulated gene 4-like (Nedd4-2), exhibit developmental delays and learning disabilities, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Using conditional Nedd4-2 knockout mice, we uncover that Nedd4-2 f...
Chapter
Dietary flavonoids are small polyphenolic molecules found in most fruits and vegetables. Compelling evidence shows flavonoids protect the brain from aging and disease, with population studies suggesting diets rich in flavonoids can attenuate cognitive aging. Although the underlying mechanisms are not well-established, evidence from animal studies s...
Article
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Increasing diversity and inclusion in science means making change, and making change means overcoming new challenges. The paper published in this volume entitled “Service Dogs and Safety in Academic Laboratories” opens an important discussion on this topic. However, certain statements in the paper appear to perpetuate a negative bias concerning the...
Article
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Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining cognitive health throughout life. Recent evidence suggests muscle contractions during exercise release factors into the blood which cross into the brain and stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis. However, no study has tested whether muscle contractions alone are sufficient to increase adult hippocampal...
Article
Background: Alpha-tocopherol (αT), the bioactive constituent of vitamin E, is essential for fertility and neurological development. Synthetic αT (8 stereoisomers; all rac-αT) is added to infant formula at higher concentrations than natural αT (RRR-αT only) to adjust for bio-potency differences, but its effects on brain development are poorly under...
Article
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Behavioral addictions can come in many forms, including over-eating, gambling, and over-exercising. All addictions share a common mechanism involving activation of the natural reward circuit and reinforcement learning, but the extent to which motivation for natural and drug rewards share similar neurogenetic mechanisms remains unknown. A unique mou...
Article
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Many species display alloparental care, where individuals care for offspring that are not their own, but usually the behavior is contingent on the individual receiving some direct or indirect benefit. In anemonefish, after removing the breeding male, non-breeders have been observed providing care for eggs they did not sire and which are not kin. Pr...
Article
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The Amphiprion (anemonefish or clownfish) family of teleost fish, which is not a common model species, exhibits multiple unique characteristics, including social control of body size and protandrous sex change. The social changes in sex and body size are modulated by neuropeptide signaling pathways. These neuropeptides are formed from complex proce...
Article
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The mitochondrial theory of aging attributes much of the aging process to mitochondrial DNA damage. The polymerase gamma (PolG) mutant mouse was designed to evaluate this theory and thus carries a mutated proofreading region of polymerase gamma (D257A) that exclusively transcribes the mitochondrial genome. As a result, PolGD257A mice accumulate mit...
Article
Parental care represents a suite of distinct behaviors performed by parents to maximize fitness. Dynamic shifts in parental care behaviors, such as between nest defense and direct provisioning of the offspring, are required in response to environmental variation. However, the neural mechanisms which mediate such behavioral shifts remain a mystery....
Preprint
Full-text available
The mitochondrial theory of aging attributes much of the aging process to mitochondrial DNA damage. The PolGA D257A/D257A (PolG) mutant mouse was created to explore the mitochondrial theory of aging and carries a mutated proofreading region of polymerase gamma, which exclusively transcribes the mitochondrial genome. As a result, PolG mice accumulat...
Article
Unaccustomed resistance exercise can initiate skeletal muscle remodeling and adaptive mechanisms that can confer protection from damage and enhanced strength with subsequent stimulation. The myofiber may provide the primary origin for adaptation, yet multiple mononuclear cell types within the surrounding connective tissue may also contribute. The p...
Article
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KCNQ/Kv 7 channels conduct voltage-dependent outward potassium currents that potently decrease neuronal excitability. Heterozygous inherited mutations in their principle subunits Kv 7.2/KCNQ2 and Kv 7.3/KCNQ3 cause benign familial neonatal epilepsy whereas patients with de novo heterozygous Kv 7.2 mutations are associated with early-onset epileptic...
Article
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Sex differences in the anatomy and physiology of the vertebrate preoptic area (POA) arise during development, and influence sex-specific reproductive functions later in life. Relative to masculinization, mechanisms for feminization of the POA are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to induce sex change from male to female in the anem...
Poster
Darwinian theory predicts that individuals will display energetically costly parental care behaviors towards genetically related offspring rather than unrelated offspring. Curiously, after removing the breeding male, Amphiprion non-breeders have been observed step-fathering unrelated offspring. This was assumed to be due to coercion by the breeding...
Presentation
Darwinian theory predicts that individuals will more frequently display energetically costly parental care behaviors towards genetically related offspring than unrelated. Amphiprion ocellaris represents a unique species where small groups of unrelated individuals live together in the same territory. These groups consist of a dominant monogamous pai...
Article
Learning and memory are fundamental processes that are disrupted in many neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. The hippocampus plays an integral role in these functions, and modulation of synaptic transmission mediated by γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) type‐A receptors (GABAARs) impacts hippocampus‐dependent learning and me...
Article
Recent research suggests that exercise may help facilitate abstinence from cocaine addiction, though the mechanisms are not well understood. In mice, wheel running accelerates the extinction of conditioned place preference (CPP) for cocaine, providing an animal model for evaluating potential neurological mechanisms. The objective of this study was...
Article
Recent data has supported a role for the gut microbiota in improving cognition and shaping behavior. Here, we assessed whether pectin, a soluble, fermentable fiber, could enhance learning and memory in mice. Two cohorts of young male C57Bl/6 J mice, C1 (n = 20) and C2 (n = 20), were obtained from Jackson Laboratory and randomized to semi-purified A...
Data
Differentially expressed genes. “Selection” refers to effect of selection, “drug” refers to effect of amphetamine, and “interaction” refers to the interaction between “selection” and “drug” in a 2-way ANOVA of log RPKM. “repheno” refers to the correlation between gene expression and distance traveled on days 5 and 6 at the 6.5 month time-point. “dr...
Article
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Despite the prevalence and high heritability of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), genetic etiology remains elusive. Clinical evidence points in part to reduced function of the striatum, but which specific genes are differentially expressed and how they sculpt striatal physiology to predispose ADHD are not well understood. As an explo...
Data
WGCNA DAVID results. DAVID enrichment analysis results for WGCNA modules 8, 14, and 44. These modules’ eigengenes showed significant effects of selection. (XLSX)
Article
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Mouse lines selectively bred for high voluntary wheel-running behavior are helpful models for uncovering gene networks associated with increased motivation for physical activity and other reward-dependent behaviors. The fact that multiple brain regions are hypothesized to contribute to distinct behavior components necessitates the simultaneous stud...
Data
Extended lists of differentially expressed genes and enriched functional categories. Table A. Extended list of genes exhibiting activity line by brain region interaction effect. Table B. Extended list of clusters of Gene Ontology molecular functions, biological processes, and KEGG pathways enriched among genes exhibiting activity line-by-brain regi...
Article
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Exercising regularly is a highly effective strategy for maintaining cognitive health throughout the lifespan. Over the last 20 years, many molecular, physiological and structural changes have been documented in response to aerobic exercise training in humans and animals, particularly in the hippocampus. However, how exercise produces such neurologi...
Article
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2018): Cognitive function is preserved in aged mice following long-term β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate supplementation, Nutritional Neuroscience, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a nutritional supplement purported to enhance skeletal muscle mass and strength, as well as cognitive function in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine t...
Article
Fathering behavior is critical for offspring survival in many species across diverse taxa, but our understanding of the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating paternal care is limited in part because of the few primarily paternal species among the common animal models. However, many teleosts display primarily paternal care, and among the teleosts, an...
Article
Over the past decade, advances in mass spectrometry-based proteomics have accelerated brain proteome research aimed at studying the expression, dynamic modification, interaction and function of proteins in the nervous system that are associated with physiological and behavioral processes. With the latest hardware and software improvements in top-do...
Article
Perivascular stromal cells, including mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), secrete paracrine factor in response to exercise training that can facilitate improvements in muscle remodeling. This study was designed to test the capacity for muscle-resident MSCs (mMSCs) isolated from young mice to release regenerative proteins in response to mechanica...
Chapter
New neurons are continuously formed in the adult hippocampus of the human, nonhuman primate, and rodent throughout life though rates of neurogenesis precipitously decline with age to near zero levels at the end of the natural life span. Since its discovery in the 1960s, a large number of studies have documented numerous environmental and genetic fa...
Article
The nonapeptides isotocin (IT) and arginine vasotocin (AVT), along with their mammalian homologs oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, are well known regulators of social behaviors across vertebrate taxa. However, little is known about their involvement in paternal care. Here, we measured the effect of an IT and an AVT V1a receptor antagonist on pater...
Article
Objective: High- protein diets have become increasingly popular with various touted benefits. However, the extent to which protein quantity and source affects cognitive functioning through altering postprandial amino acid profiles has not been investigated. Further, whether all protein sources are similarly anorexigenic is uncertain. The objective...
Article
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We have previously shown that a diet containing epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and beta-alanine is not effective in improving either cognitive or muscle function in aged (18 month) mice (Gibbons et al. Behav Brain Res 2014, Pence et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2016). However, this diet reduced oxidative stress in the brain, and previous studies us...
Article
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ADHD is a major societal problem with increasing incidence and a stagnant track record for treatment advances. A lack of appropriate animal models has partly contributed to the incremental advance of this field. Hence, our goal was to generate a novel mouse model that could be useful for ADHD medication development. We reasoned that hyperactivity i...
Article
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It is widely believed that diet can influence the onset and severity of cognitive aging, but the optimal combination of micronutrients and molecular and cellular mechanisms remain elusive. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of eight distinct diets, consisting of various concentrations of selected micronutrients, on learning and me...
Article
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The role of the cerebellum in motivation and addictive behaviors is less understood than that in control and coordination of movements. High running can be a self-rewarding behavior exhibiting addictive properties. Changes in the cerebellum transcriptional networks of mice from a line selectively bred for High voluntary running (H) were profiled re...
Data
Supplementary results. Table A. Genes exhibiting significant (FDR-adjusted P-value < 0.05) activity genotype-by-environment interaction and Log2(Fold Change) by pairwise contrast encompassing genotype (C and H) and environment (B and F) groups. Table B. Enriched clusters of Gene Ontology (GO) biological process (BP), molecular function (MF) Functio...
Article
β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine. Recent studies demonstrate a decline in plasma HMB concentrations in humans across the lifespan, and HMB supplementation may be able to preserve muscle mass and strength in older adults. However, the impact of HMB supplementation on hippocampal neurogenesis and co...
Article
Though exercise is critical for health, many lack the motivation to exercise, and it is unclear how motivation might be increased. To uncover the molecular underpinnings of increased motivation for exercise, we analyzed the transcriptome of the striatum in four mouse lines selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running and four non-selected cont...
Article
The negative impact of chemotherapy on cognitive function in cancer patients has gained increasing attention in the last decade. Whilst the short-term acute effects on cognition are expected following chemotherapy, the persistence of such impairments in the long-term is still in question. This is despite clinical evidence indicating cognitive diffi...
Article
Early environmental conditions are increasingly appreciated as critical in shaping behavior and cognition. Evidence suggests that stressful rearing environments can have an enduring impact on behaviors in adulthood, but few studies have explored the possibility that rearing environment could exacerbate genetic hyperactivity disorders. Uncovering a...
Article
While it has traditionally been viewed that high androgens are a hindrance to male parental care, recent studies in several vertebrate taxa have shown the opposite pattern, where high androgens either co-occur with, or are necessary for high parental investment. These inconsistencies suggest that in order to develop a complete understanding of the...
Conference Paper
Current methods for light delivery in in vivo optogenetic applications are typically accomplished via a single multimode fiber that diffuses light over a large area of the brain, and relies on the spatial distribution of transfected light-sensitive neurons for targeted control. In our investigations, an imaging fiber bundle (Schott) containing 4,50...
Chapter
Regular exercise broadly enhances physical and mental health throughout the lifespan. Animal models have provided us with the tools to gain a better understanding of the underlying biochemical, physiological, and morphological mechanisms through which exercise exerts its beneficial cognitive effects. One brain region in particular, the hippocampus,...
Article
Aging leads to sarcopenia and loss of physical function. We examined whether voluntary wheel running, when combined with dietary supplementation with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and β-alanine (β-ALA), could improve muscle function and alter gene expression in the gastrocnemius of aged mice. Seventeen-month-old BALB/cByJ mice were given ac...
Article
The projected increase in the incidence of dementia in the population highlights the urgent need for a more comprehensive understanding of how different aspects of lifestyle, in particular exercise and diet, may affect neural function and consequent cognitive performance throughout the life course. In this regard, flavonoids, found in a variety of...
Article
Neurochemical differences in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis between individuals and between ages may contribute to differential susceptibility to cocaine abuse. This study measured peptide levels in the pituitary gland (Pit) and lateral hypothalamus (LH) in adolescent (age 30 days) and adult (age 65 days) mice from four standard inbred strains, FV...
Article
Wireless control and power harvesting systems that operate injectable, cellular-scale optoelectronic components provide important demonstrated capabilities in neuromodulatory techniques such as optogenetics. Here, we report a radio frequency (RF) control/harvesting device that offers dramatically reduced size, decreased weight and improved efficien...
Article
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Recent evidence suggests that fructose consumption is associated with weight gain, fat deposition and impaired cognitive function. However it is unclear whether the detrimental effects are caused by fructose itself or by the concurrent increase in overall energy intake. In the present study we examine the impact of a fructose diet relative to an is...
Article
Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-infla...
Article
Moderate levels of aerobic exercise broadly enhance cognition throughout the lifespan. One hypothesized contributing mechanism is increased adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Recently, we measured the effects of voluntary wheel running on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in 12 different mouse strains, and found increased neurogenesis in all strains, ran...
Article
Respiratory viral infections are common during the neonatal period in humans, but little is known about how early-life infection impacts brain development. The current study used a neonatal piglet model as piglets have a gyrencephalic brain with growth and development similar to human infants. Piglets were inoculated with porcine reproductive and r...
Article
Daily levels of physical activity vary greatly across individuals and are strongly influenced by genetic background. While moderate levels of physical activity are associated with improved physical and mental health, extremely high levels of physical activity are associated with behavioral disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder...