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Barbara Woodside, PhD

Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Psychology
Director, Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology (CSBN)

Barbara Woodside, PhD


Behavioral and neuroendocrinological studies of maternal behavior, food intake, diet selection and their relationship to reproductive state.

The major goal of my research program is to use a rat model to explore the complex interaction of neural, endocrine and behavioral processes that enable female mammals to successfully meet the challenge of pregnancy and lactation. Elucidating these mechanisms is clearly important for understanding the physiology and behavior of pregnant and lactating mammals and there is sufficient overlap among species that some of our findings may relate to human and non-human primates, as well as to other rodents. In addition, pregnancy and lactation are transient states, and the mechanisms that are recruited during these states which in some instances reflect profound changes in brain neurochemistry and morphology, are also transient. Thus, investigating these mechanisms and the circumstances that are necessary and sufficient to induce them provides an opportunity to study the plasticity of brain mechanisms and their control.

Selected publications

Pohl J, Woodside B, Luheshi GN (2014) Leptin modulates the late fever response to LPS in diet-induced obese animals. Brain Behav Immun. [PubMed] [Content]

Aguilar-Valles A, Kim J, Jung S, Woodside B, Luheshi GN (2014) Role of brain transmigrating neutrophils in depression-like behavior during systemic infection. Mol Psychiatry 19:599-606. [PubMed] [Content]

Ladyman SR, Woodside B (2014) Food restriction during lactation suppresses Kiss1 mRNA expression and kisspeptin-stimulated LH release in rats. Reproduction 147:743-751. [PubMed] [Content]

Maric T, Woodside B, Luheshi GN (2014) The effects of dietary saturated fat on basal hypothalamic neuroinflammation in rats. Brain Behav Immun 36:35-45. [PubMed] [Content]

Pohl J, Sheppard M, Luheshi GN, Woodside B (2014) Diet-induced weight gain produces a graded increase in behavioral responses to an acute immune challenge. Brain Behav Immun 35:43-50. [PubMed] [Content]

Inhasz Kiss AC, Woodside B, Sinzato YK, Bernardi MM, De Grava Kempinas W, Anselmo-Franci JA, Damasceno DC (2013) Neonatally induced mild diabetes: influence on development, behavior and reproductive function of female Wistar rats. Diabetol Metab Syndr 5:61. [PubMed] [Content]

Pohl J, Luheshi GN, Woodside B (2013) Effect of obesity on the acute inflammatory response in pregnant and cycling female rats. J Neuroendocrinol 25:433-445. [PubMed] [Content]

Hussain D, Hoehne A, Woodside B, Brake WG (2013) Reproductive experience modifies the effects of estradiol on learning and memory bias in female rats. Horm Behav 63:418-423. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Budin R, Wellman MK, Abizaid A (2012) Many mouths to feed: the control of food intake during lactation. Front Neuroendocrinol 33:301-314. [PubMed] [Content]

Kiss AC, Woodside B, Felício LF, Anselmo-Franci J, Damasceno DC (2012) Impact of maternal mild hyperglycemia on maternal care and offspring development and behavior of Wistar rats. Physiol Behav 107:292-300. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Cossette MP, Woodside B (2011) Pregnancy and maternal behavior induce changes in glia, glutamate and its metabolism within the cingulate cortex. PLoS One 6:e23529. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Quinlan MG, Brake WG, Woodside B (2011) Changes in dendritic spine density on layer 2/3 pyramidal cells within the cingulate cortex of late pregnant and postpartum rats. Horm Behav 60:65-71. [PubMed] [Content]

Numan M, Woodside B (2010) Maternity: Neural mechanisms, motivational processes, and physiological adaptations. Behav Neurosci 124:715-741. [PubMed] [Content]

Shalev U, Tylor A, Schuster K, Frate C, Tobin S, Woodside B (2010) Long-term physiological and behavioral effects of exposure to a highly palatable diet during the perinatal and post-weaning periods. Physiol Behav 101:494-502. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Hicks J, Woodside B (2010) Effects of parturition on immediate early gene protein expression within the brains of female rats. Neuroscience 169:936-944. [PubMed] [Content]

Pohl J, Woodside B, Luheshi GN (2009) Changes in hypothalamically mediated acute-phase inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide in diet-induced obese rats. Endocrinology 150:4901-4910. [PubMed] [Content]

Barbosa-Vargas E, Pfaus JG, Woodside B (2009) Sexual behavior in lactating rats: role of estrogen-induced progesterone receptors. Horm Behav 56:246-253. [PubMed] [Content]

Ladyman SR, Woodside B (2009) Regulation of maternal food intake and mother-pup interactions by the Y5 receptor. Physiol Behav 97:91-97. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Nadeau J, Woodside B (2009) Steroid hormones and maternal experience interact to induce glial plasticity in the cingulate cortex. Eur J Neurosci 29:786-794. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Woodside B (2008) Fluctuations in astrocytic basic fibroblast growth factor in the cingulate cortex of cycling, ovariectomized and postpartum animals. Neuroscience 154:932-939. [PubMed] [Content]

Naef L, Woodside B (2007) Prolactin/Leptin interactions in the control of food intake in rats. Endocrinology 148:5977-5983. [PubMed] [Content]

Roy JF, Chretien MN, Woodside B, English AM (2007) Reduction and S-nitrosation of the neuropeptide oxytocin: implications for its biological function. Nitric Oxide 17:82-90. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B (2007) Prolactin and the hyperphagia of lactation. Physiol Behav 91:375-382. [PubMed] [Content]

Service G, Woodside B (2007) Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase within the medial preoptic area impairs pup retrieval in lactating rats. Behav Neurosci 121:140-147. [PubMed] [Content]

Fulton S, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2006) Potentiation of brain stimulation reward by weight loss: evidence for functional heterogeneity in brain reward circuitry. Behav Brain Res 174:56-63. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Woodside B (2006) Upregulation of astrocytic basic fibroblast growth factor in the cingulate cortex of lactating rats: time course and role of suckling stimulation. Horm Behav 50:448-453. [PubMed] [Content]

Perrin JS, Segall LA, Harbour VL, Woodside B, Amir S (2006) The expression of the clock protein PER2 in the limbic forebrain is modulated by the estrous cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:5591-5596. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B (2006) Morphological plasticity in the maternal brain: comment on Kinsley et al.; motherhood and the hormones of pregnancy modify concentrations of hippocampal neuronal dendritic spines. Horm Behav 49:129-130. [PubMed] [Content]

Glenn MJ, Lehmann H, Mumby DG, Woodside B (2005) Differential fos expression following aspiration, electrolytic, or excitotoxic lesions of the perirhinal cortex in rats. Behav Neurosci 119:806-813. [PubMed] [Content]

Salmaso N, Popeski N, Peronace LA, Woodside B (2005) Differential effects of reproductive and hormonal state on basic fibroblast growth factor and glial fibrillary acid protein immunoreactivity in the hypothalamus and cingulate cortex of female rats. Neuroscience 134:1431-1440. [PubMed] [Content]

Fulton S, Richard D, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2004) Food restriction and leptin impact brain reward circuitry in lean and obese Zucker rats. Behav Brain Res 155:319-329. [PubMed] [Content]

Popeski N, Woodside B (2004) Central nitric oxide synthase inhibition disrupts maternal behavior in the rat. Behav Neurosci 118:1305-1316. [PubMed] [Content]

Walker CD, Deschamps S, Proulx K, Tu M, Salzman C, Woodside B, Lupien S, Gallo-Payet N, Richard D (2004) Mother to infant or infant to mother? Reciprocal regulation of responsiveness to stress in rodents and the implications for humans. J Psychiatry Neurosci 29:364-382. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Service G, Woodside BC (2004) Effects of estradiol on immediate early gene expression associated with ovulation in lactating rats: role of nutritional status. Brain Res 1001:72-77. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside BL, Borroni AM, Hammonds MD, Teyler TJ (2004) NMDA receptors and voltage-dependent calcium channels mediate different aspects of acquisition and retention of a spatial memory task. Neurobiol Learn Mem 81:105-114. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Kyriazis D, Woodside B (2004) Effects of leptin administration on lactational infertility in food-restricted rats depend on milk delivery. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 286:R217-R225. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Service G, Woodside B (2003) Food restriction during lactation results in prolonged hyposensitivity to the positive-feedback effects of oestradiol. J Neuroendocrinol 15:1037-1045. [PubMed] [Content]

Popeski N, Amir S, Diorio J, Woodside B (2003) Prolactin and oxytocin interaction in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei: effects on oxytocin mRNA and nitric oxide synthase. J Neuroendocrinol 15:687-696. [PubMed] [Content]

Sprague JE, Preston AS, Leifheit M, Woodside B (2003) Hippocampal serotonergic damage induced by MDMA (ecstasy): effects on spatial learning. Physiol Behav 79:281-287. [PubMed] [Content]

Deschamps S, Woodside B, Walker CD (2003) Pups presence eliminates the stress hyporesponsiveness of early lactating females to a psychological stress representing a threat to the pups. J Neuroendocrinol 15:486-497. [PubMed] [Content]

Fulton S, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2003) Energy balance and reward. In: Progress in Obesity Research: 9. Medeiros-Neto G, Halpern A, Bouchard C (ed), London: John Libbey, p. 818-821.

Fulton S, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2002) Does neuropeptide Y contribute to the modulation of brain stimulation reward by chronic food restriction? Behav Brain Res 134:157-164. [PubMed] [Content]

Fulton S, Richard D, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2002) Interaction of CRH and energy balance in the modulation of brain stimulation reward. Behav Neurosci 116:651-659. [PubMed] [Content]

Toufexis DJ, Kyriazis D, Woodside B (2002) Chronic neuropeptide Y Y5 receptor stimulation suppresses reproduction in virgin female and lactating rats. J Neuroendocrinol 14:492-497. [PubMed] [Content]

Toufexis DJ, Yorozu S, Woodside B (2002) Y1 receptor activation is involved in the effect of exogenous neuropeptide Y on pup growth and the early termination of lactational diestrus in the postpartum rat. J Neuroendocrinol 14:354-360. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Woodside B (2002) Food intake and neuronal activation after acute 2DG treatment are attenuated during lactation. Physiol Behav 75:483-491. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Beaule C, Lauay C (2002) Chronic neuropeptide Y infusion during lactation suppresses pup growth and reduces the length of lactational infertility in rats. Horm Behav 41:59-69. [PubMed] [Content]

Shizgal P, Fulton S, Woodside B (2001) Brain reward circuitry and the regulation of energy balance. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25 Suppl 5:S17-S21. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Jafferali S, Pelletier JG, Woodside B (2001) Effect of metabolic fuel availability on fertility varies with reproductive state. Physiol Behav 74:77-83. [PubMed] [Content]

Popeski N, Woodside B (2001) Effect of nitric oxide synthase inhibition on fos expression in the hypothalamus of female rats following central oxytocin and systemic urethane administration. J Neuroendocrinol 13:596-607. [PubMed] [Content]

Sauve D, Woodside B (2000) Neuroanatomical specificity of prolactin-induced hyperphagia in virgin female rats. Brain Res 868:306-314. [PubMed] [Content]

Oates M, Woodside B, Walker CD (2000) Chronic leptin administration in developing rats reduces stress responsiveness partly through changes in maternal behavior. Horm Behav 37:366-376. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Abizaid A, Walker C (2000) Changes in leptin levels during lactation: implications for lactational hyperphagia and anovulation. Horm Behav 37:353-365. [PubMed] [Content]

Fulton S, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2000) Modulation of brain reward circuitry by leptin. Science 287:125-128. [PubMed]"" target="_top">[Content]

Popeski N, Amir S, Woodside B (1999) Changes in NADPH-d staining in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei during pregnancy and lactation in rats: role of ovarian steroids and oxytocin. J Neuroendocrinol 11:53-61. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Popeski N (1999) The contribution of changes in milk delivery to the prolongation of lactational infertility induced by food restriction or increased litter size. Physiol Behav 65:711-715. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Abizaid A, Jafferali S (1998) Effect of acute food deprivation on lactational infertility in rats is reduced by leptin administration. Am J Physiol 274:R1653-R1658. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Abizaid A, Caporale M (1998) The role of specific macronutrient availability in the effect of food restriction on length of lactational diestrus in rats. Physiol Behav 64:409-414. [PubMed] [Content]

Abizaid A, Walker CD, Woodside B (1997) Changes in neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity in the arcuate nucleus during and after food restriction in lactating rats. Brain Res 761:306-312. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Amir S (1997) Lactation reduces Fos induction in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus after urethane administration in rats. Brain Res 752:319-323. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Amir S (1996) Reproductive state changes NADPH-diaphorase staining in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of female rats. Brain Res 739:339-342. [PubMed] [Content]

Sauve D, Woodside B (1996) The effect of central administration of prolactin on food intake in virgin female rats is dose-dependent, occurs in the absence of ovarian hormones and the latency to onset varies with feeding regimen. Brain Res 729:75-81. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Renaudin A, Shizgal P (1996) Administration of ovarian steroid hormones does not change the reward effectiveness of lateral hypothalamic stimulation in ovariectomized rats. Psychobiology 24:202-210. [Content]

Stewart J, Woodside B, Shaham Y (1996) Ovarian hormones do not affect the initiation and maintenance of intravenous self-administration of heroin in the female rat. Psychobiology 24:154-159. [Content]

Woodside B, Robinson B, Amir S (1995) Induction of Fos protein in a model of closed head injury in rats. Brain Res 690:48-54. [PubMed] [Content]

Walker CD, Mitchell JB, Woodside BC (1995) Suppression of LH secretion in food-restricted lactating females: effects of ovariectomy and bromocryptine treatment. J Endocrinol 146:95-104. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Jans JE (1995) Role of the nutritional status of the litter and length and frequency of mother-litter contact bouts in prolonging lactational diestrus in food restricted rat dams. Horm Behav 29:154-176. [Content]

Woodside BC, Lee BA, Rochford J (1994) Suckling-induced changes in responsivity to the hypoalgesic effect of morphine. Pain 59:209-217. [PubMed] [Content]

Amir S, Robinson B, Woodside B (1994) Induction of Fos protein in the piriform cortex after brain injury in pentobarbital-anaesthetized rats: lack of effect of lactation. Brain Res 652:341-345. [PubMed] [Content]

Conover KL, Woodside B, Shizgal P (1994) Effects of sodium depletion on competition and summation between rewarding effects of salt and lateral hypothalamic stimulation in the rat. Behav Neurosci 108:549-558. [PubMed] [Content]

Noel MB, Woodside B (1993) Effects of systemic and central prolactin injections on food intake, weight gain, and estrous cyclicity in female rats. Physiol Behav 54:151-154. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B (1991) Effects of food restriction on the length of lactational diestrus in rats. Horm Behav 25:70-83. [PubMed] [Content]

Jans JE, Woodside BC (1990) Nest temperature: effects on maternal behavior, pup development, and interactions with handling. Dev Psychobiol 23:519-534. [PubMed] [Content]

Millelire L, Woodside B (1989) Factors influencing the self-selection of calcium in lactating rats. Physiol Behav 46:429-434. [PubMed] [Content]

Cohen LR, Woodside BC (1989) Self-selection of protein during pregnancy and lactation in rats. Appetite 12:119-136. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Jans JE (1988) Neuroendocrine basis of thermally regulated maternal responses to young in the rat. Psychoneuroendocrinology 13:79-98. [PubMed] [Content]

Jans JE, Woodside B (1987) Effects of litter age, litter size, and ambient temperature on the milk ejection reflex in lactating rats. Dev Psychobiol 20:333-344. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Cohen LR, Jans JE (1987) Effects of food restriction during concurrent lactation and pregnancy in the rat. Physiol Behav 40:613-615. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Millelire L (1987) Self-selection of calcium during pregnancy and lactation in rats. Physiol Behav 39:291-295. [PubMed] [Content]

Jans JE, de Villers S, Woodside B (1985) The effects of rearing environment on pup development. Dev Psychobiol 18:341-347. [PubMed] [Content]

Leon M, Adels L, Coopersmith R, Woodside B (1984) Diurnal cycle of mother-young contact in Norway rats. Physiol Behav 32:999-1003. [PubMed] [Content]

Leon M, Woodside B (1983) Energetic limits on reproduction: maternal food intake. Physiol Behav 30:945-957. [PubMed] [Content]

Leon M, Fischette C, Chee P, Woodside B (1983) Energetic limits on reproduction: interaction of thermal and dietary factors. Physiol Behav 30:937-943. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Leon M, Attard M, Feder HH, Siegel HI, Fischette C (1981) Prolactin-steroid influences on the thermal basis for mother-young contact in Norway rats. J Comp Physiol Psychol 95:771-780. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Wilson R, Chee P, Leon M (1981) Resource partitioning during reproduction in the Norway rat. Science 211:76-77. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Leon M (1980) Thermoendocrine influences on maternal nesting behavior in rats. J Comp Physiol Psychol 94:41-60. [PubMed] [Content]

Woodside B, Pelchat R, Leon M (1980) Acute elevation of the heat load of mother rats curtails maternal nest bouts. J Comp Physiol Psychol 94:61-68. [PubMed] [Content]

Jenkins HM, Barrera FJ, Ireland C, Woodside B (1978) Signal-centered action patterns of dogs in appetitive classical conditioning. Learn Motiv 9:272-296. [Content]

Book chapters

Woodside B, Augustine RA, Ladyman SR, Naef L, Grattan DR (2008) Role of prolactin in the metabolic adaptations to pregnancy and lactation. In: Neurobiology of the Parental Brain, Academic Press, p. 249-268. [Content]

Fulton S, Woodside B, Shizgal P (2003) Energy balance and reward. In: Progress in Obesity Research: 9. Medeiros-Neto G, Halpern A, Bouchard C (ed), London: John Libbey, p. 818-821.

Woodside B, Amir S (2000) Chapter V Nitric oxide signaling in the hypothalamus. In: Steinbusch HWM, De Vente J, Vincent SR (eds) Handbook of chemical neuroanatomy, vol 17: Functional neuroanatomy of the nitric oxide system. Elsevier, pp 147-176. [DOI]

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