Jean M. Lauder, Ph.D.


Professor Emeritus

  • B.A., University of Maine, 1967
  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 1972
  • Postdoc, NIMH, 1972-74
  • Joined the Department in 1978

Funding Sources

  • NIH

Research Interests

Neurotransmitters as developmental signals.

Neurotransmitters act as growth regulatory signals in primitive organisms, embryos, and the developing nervous system, where they exert their effects by activating receptors and signal transduction mechanisms similar to those used in vertebrate neurotransmission. Over the years, my laboratory has investigated developmental roles for serotonin (5-HT), GABA, acetylcholine, and most recently, endocannabinoids, in development of neural and non-neural tissues. Ongoing studies involve bioinformatic analyses of vertebrate and invertebrate genomes in an attempt to gain insights into the evolutionary history of the endocannabinoid system.

Roles of neurotransmitters in developmental disabilities.

Using animal models, we have investigated how abnormal development of neurotransmitter systems may contribute to developmental disabilities, like autism. Using mutant mice, we have studied deficits in social interactions, a hallmark of autism, and used microarrays to profile gene expression. These studies have demonstrated not only the effects of targeted mutations, but also the important role of background strain, on both social behavior and gene expression phenotypes.

Selected Publications

PubMed 1

  • Williams, SK; Lauder JM; Johns JM. (2011) Prenatal cocaine disrupts serotonin signaling-dependent behaviors: implications for gender, early environmental stress and prenatal antidepressant exposure. Current Neuropharmacology, 9(3): 478-511.
  • Buznikov, GA, Nikitina, LA, Bezuglov, VV, Francisco, MEY, Boysen, G, Obispo-Peak, IN, Peterson, RE, Weiss, ER, Schuel, H, Temple, BRS, Morrow, AL, Lauder, JM. (2010) (Published online: November 12, 2009). A Putative "Pre-nervous" Endocannabinoid System in Early Echinoderm Development. Dev. Neurosci: 32: 1–18.
  • Moy, SS, Nadler, JJ, Young, NB, Randal, Herrup, K, Kuemerle, B, Waage-Baudet H, Sulik, KK, D’Ercole, J, Murphy, DL, Greenough, WT, Crawley, JN, Magnuson, TR, Lauder, JM: Social Approach in Genetically-Engineered Mouse Lines Relevant to Autism. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 8(2):129-142, 2009.
  • Basura, G. J., Abbas, A. I., O'Donohue, H., Lauder, J. M., Roth, B. L., Walker, P. D., and Manis, P. B. (2008). Ontogeny of serotonin and serotonin2A receptors in rat auditory cortex. Hear Res 244, 45-50.
  • Moy, S. S., Nadler, J. J., Young, N. B., Perez, A., Holloway, L. P., Barbaro, R. P., Barbaro, J. R., Wilson, L. M., Threadgill, D. W., Lauder, J. M., Magnuson, T. R., and Crawley, J. N. (2007). Mouse behavioral tasks relevant to autism: phenotypes of 10 inbred strains. Behav Brain Res 176, 4-20.
  • Buznikov, G. A., Nikitina, L. A., Rakic, L. M., Milosevic, I., Bezuglov, V. V., Lauder, J. M., and Slotkin, T. A. (2007). The sea urchin embryo, an invertebrate model for mammalian developmental neurotoxicity, reveals multiple neurotransmitter mechanisms for effects of chlorpyrifos: therapeutic interventions and a comparison with the monoamine depleter, reserpine. Brain Res Bull 74, 221-31.
  • Buznikov, G. A., Nikitina, L. A., Bezuglov, V. V., Francisco, M. E. Y., Obispo-Peak, I. N., Peterson, R. E., Slotkin, T. A., Lauder, J. M., and Rakic, L. (2007). "New Perspectives on Roles for Neurotransmitters in Early ("pre-nervous") Embryogenesis. (Ruzdijic S and Rakic, L., Eds) Research Signpost/Transworld Research Network, London, pp 183-196.
  • Levin, M., Buznikov, G. A., and Lauder, J. M. (2006). Of minds and embryos: left-right asymmetry and the serotonergic controls of pre-neural morphogenesis. Dev Neurosci 28, 171-85.
  • Buznikov, G. A., Peterson, R. E., Nikitina, L. A., Bezuglov, V. V., and Lauder, J. M. (2005). The pre-nervous serotonergic system of developing sea urchin embryos and larvae: pharmacologic and immunocytochemical evidence. Neurochem Res 30, 825-37.
  • Polleux, F, and Lauder, JM (2004). Toward a Developmental Neurobiology of Autism. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 10: 303-317.
  • Di Pino, G, Moessner, GR, Lesch, KP, Lauder, JM, Persico, AM (2004) Roles for Serotonin in Neurodevelopment: More Than Just Neural Transmission? Current Neuropharmacology, 2: 403-417.