Participating Faculty

Ilia Karatsoreos

Ilia Karatsoreos

Department:Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Credentials:2007 - Ph.D. Columbia University; Psychology
Office:Heald 331
Mailing Address:Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State University
PO Box 646520
Pullman, WA 99164-6520
Website:Click here

Research Interests

Behavioral Neuroscience, Circadian Rhythms, Stress, Metabolism/Obesity, Neuroendocrinology, Depression/Anxiety, Cognition, Ageing/Development, Neuropeptides, Sex Differences

Research Summary


My lab investigates how organisms interact with their environments, and the mechanisms by which the environment shapes physiological and neurobehavioral function to drive adaptation. Maintaining optimal physiologic function requires organisms to accomplish at least two tasks: 1) anticipate recurring changes in the environment, and 2) adapt to unexpected environmental challenges. The circadian (daily) timing system is essential to the former, relying on cues in the environment to anticipate recurring environmental changes. On the other hand, the stress response system is essential for perceiving, responding to, and recovering from unexpected events. These systems are important because their disruption is linked to significant negative impacts on metabolic, immune, and neurobehavioral function. We employ the circadian and stress systems as models to probe how physiological dysregulation leads to long-term negative health consequences, using integrative, multi-level approaches, and investigating effects throughout critical periods of neuroendocrine development. 

Current research focuses on the molecular, cellular, and systems level mechanisms by which disrupted circadian clocks and stress systems affect mental and physical health. A new focus of the lab is to understand how prenatal and adolescent disruption of circadian timing and stress systems can have long term effects on neurobehavioral and metabolic function. The lab also investigates effect of gonadal hormones on circadian timing, exploring how androgens can alter the structure and function of the brain clock, and the behavioral ramifications of these changes. A growing area of interest is the role of sex differences, both genetic and endocrine, in the modulation of these responses. 

We use transgenic mouse models, behavioral and metabolic assays, and sleep electrophysiology, along with analyses of neural structure/function through gene expression, confocal microscopy, and 3-D cellular reconstructions. My lab can measure metabolic activity of brain tissue using implanted biosensors in behaving rodents and employs assays of immune function to probe environment-brain-body interactions. We aim to understand the functional integration of multiple organ systems, and determine the mechanisms by which homeostasis is maintained, how adaptations are made when homeostasis is challenged, and the long-term consequences of failures to adapt.

Selected Research Publications

Kinlein, S.A., Shahanoor, J., Romeo, R.D., Karatsoreos, I.N. (2017)  “Chronic corticosterone treatment during adolescence has significant effects on metabolic measures and skeletal development in male C57BL6/N mice”. Endocrinology. 158(7): 2239–2254. PMID: 28510653. 

Karatsoreos, I.N. (2017) “The complexity of simplicity: Role of sex, development, and environment in modulation of the stress response.” Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 28(8). PMID: 27005563.

Kaplowitz, E., Savenkova, M., Karatsoreos, I.N., Romeo, R.D. (2016) “Somatic and neuroendocrine changes in response to chronic corticosterone exposure during adolescence in male and female rats”. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 28:2; PMID: 26568535

Gagnidze, K., Hajdarovic, K., Moskalenko, M., Karatsoreos, I., McEwen, B.S., Bullock, K. (2016). “REV-ERBa mediates circadian sensitivity to mortality in murine vesicular stomatitis virus-induced encephalitis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113(20):5730-5. PMID: 27143721

Karatsoreos, I.N., Bhagat, S.M., Bloss, E.B., Morrison, J.H., McEwen, B.S. (2011) “Disruption of circadian clocks has ramifications for metabolism, brain and behavior.” PNAS 108(4):1657-62.

Karatsoreos, I.N., Butler, M.P., LeSauter, J., Silver, R. (2011) “Androgen regulation of
plasticity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus brain clock.” Endocrinology 152: 1970-1978.

Karatsoreos I.N., Wang, A., Sasanian, J., Silver, R. (2007). “A Role for Androgens in Regulating Circadian Behavior and the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.” Endocrinology. Nov; 148(11):5487-95.

Washington State University