Mathematical Analysis of the Neural Control of Hormone Secretion

  • Date: 09/21/2006

Richard Bertram (Florida State University)


University of British Columbia


The pituitary is one of the primary glands of the body. Many hormones
are released from a variety of cells within the pituitary, and these
hormones regulate the release of hormones from other glands and have
direct actions on the brain, muscles, and organs. The timing of hormone
release from the pituitary is important, and is determined largely
through interactions with a region of the brain called the
hypothalamus. These interactions are quite complex, and serve as a good
application area for mathematical modeling and computer simulations.
The focus of this seminar is recent mathematical modeling and analysis
of interactions between the hypothalamus and pituitary lactotrophs,
pituitary cells that secrete the hormone prolactin. We discuss possible
mechanisms for circadian oscillations in prolactin secretion in
pregnant rats, and the much faster oscillations (period of several
seconds) in electrical activity of the lactotrophs, using models of
cellular dynamics at very different temporal and spatial scales.

Other Information: 

MITACS Math Biology Seminar 2006