Barnett Schlinger


phone:  (310) 825-5716

office:  2000C TLSB


research interests:  Steroid hormone synthesis and action in birds; hormonal control of brain and behavior in tropical bird species

Research Interests

Steroid hormones influence diverse physiological functions in vertebrate animals. The mechanisms by which steroids reach target tissues in an active form are equally diverse. We are interested in determining the mechanisms through steroids are made available to target tissues, principally the brain. We study steroid biosynthesis in steroidogenic organs as well as steroid metabolism in target tissues, especially as these events relate to brain function. This can involve complex interactions between gonadal and adrenal activity, as well as anabolic and catabolic enzyme action in discrete regions of the brain. Currently, I am examining these properties in songbirds to determine how steroids influence the development of the neural circuitry that controls singing behavior, regulate adult song behavior and influence neural circuits involved with memory. We study enzyme activity in whole tissues, cellular organelles, or in specific cell types grown in culture using radioenzymatic assays where radiolabled products are isolated by thin layer-chromatography or HPLC. We study enzyme expression using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization analyses. We evaluate neuroanatomial effects of steroids using standard histological procedures and light microscopy.

Selected Publications

Fusani, L.,Donaldson, Z., London, S.E., Mirzatoni, A., Fuxjager, M.J. and B.A. Schlinger., "Expression of androgen receptor in the brain of a sub-oscine bird with an elaborate courtship display", Neurosci. Letts, 578 : 61-65 (2014) .

Rensel, M., Comito, D., Kosarussavadi, S. and B.A. Schlinger., "Region-specific neural corticosterone patterns differ from plasma in a male songbird", Endocrinology, 155 : 3572-3581 (2014) .

Schlinger, B.A., L. Remage-Healey and M. Rensel, "Establishing regional specificity of neuroestrogen action", Gen. Comp. Endocrinol, 205 : 235-241 (2014) .

Fuxjager, MJ, J.B. Heston and B.A. Schlinger, "Peripheral androgen action helps modulate vocal production in a suboscine passerine", The Auk: Ornithological Advances, 131 : 327-334 (2014) .

Barske, J., Fusani, L., Wikelski, M., Feng, N.Y., Santos, M. and Schlinger, B.A., "Energetics of the acrobatic courtship in male golden-collared manakins (Manacus vitellinus)", Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B, 281 : 2013482- (2014) .

Fuxjager, M.J., K.M. Longpre, J.G. Chew, L. Fusani and B.A. Schlinger, "Peripheral androgen receptors sustain the acrobatics and fine motor skill of elaborate male courtship", Endocrinology, 154 : 3168-3177 (2013) .

Schlinger, B.A., J. Barske, L. Day, L. Fusani and M.J. Fuxjager, "Hormones and the neuromuscular control of courtship in the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus)", Front. Neuroendo, 34 : 143-156 (2013) .

Kultz, D., Clayton, D.F., Robinson, G.E., Albertson, C., Carey, H.V., Cummings, M.E., Dewar, K., Edwards, S.V., Hofmann, H.A., Gross, L.J., Kingsolver, J.G., Meaney, M.J., Schlinger, B.A., Shingleton, A.W., Sokolowski, M.B., Somero, G.N., Stanzione, D.C.,and A.E.Todgham, "New frontiers for organismal biology", BioScience, 63 : 464-471 (2013) .

Parchman, T.L., Gompert, Z., Braun, M.J., Brumfield, R., McDonald, D.B., Uy, J.A.C., Zhang, G., Jarvis, E.D., Schlinger, B.A. and C. A. Buerkle, "The genomic consequences of adaptive divergence and reproductive isolation between species of manakins", Molecular Ecology, 22 : 3304-3317 (2013) .

Rensel, M.A., Salwiczek, L., Roth, J., Schlinger, B.A, "Context-specific effects of estradiol on spatial learning and memory in the zebra finch", Neurobio. Learn Mem, 100 : 41-47 (2013) .