Probing Neuro-Endocrine Interactions Through Remote Magnetothermal Adrenal Stimulation


to stressful or traumatic stimuli may alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathoadrenal-medullary (SAM) reactivity. This altered reactivity may be a component or cause of mental illnesses. Dissecting these mechanisms requires tools to reliably probe HPA and SAM function, particularly the adrenal component, with temporal precision. We previously demonstrated magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) technology to remotely trigger adrenal hormone release by activating thermally sensitive ion channels. Here, we applied adrenal magnetothermal stimulation to probe stress-induced HPA axis and SAM changes. MNP and control nanoparticles were injected into the adrenal glands of outbred rats subjected to a tone-shock conditioning/extinction/recall paradigm. We measured MNP-triggered adrenal release before and after conditioning through physiologic (heart rate) and serum (epinephrine, corticosterone) markers. Aversive conditioning altered adrenal function, reducing corticosterone and blunting heart rate increases post-conditioning. MNP-based organ stimulation provides a novel approach to probing the function of SAM, HPA, and other neuro-endocrine axes and could help elucidate changes across stress and disease models.

Frontiers in Neuroscience
Dekel Rosenfeld
Zuckerman Faculty Scholar, Tel Aviv University
Florian Koehler
Florian Koehler
Graduate Student


Junsang Moon
Process Engineer, Applied Materials
Georgios Varnavides
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley
Polina Anikeeva
Polina Anikeeva
Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

My goal is to combine the current knowledge of biology and nanoelectronics to develop materials and devices for minimally invasive treatments for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.