Lynda M. Brown, Ph.D.
High-fat diets predispose both humans and animals to obesity. Obesity impairs the body's ability to respond to insulin and leptin, hormones involved in weight regulation. Insulin and leptin circulate at higher levels in overweight people and can cause insulin and leptin resistance, precursors to greater obesity and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Lynda Brown is exploring how high-fat diets can alter the central nervous systems' response to these hormones.
The last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity worldwide, producing ever increasing human and monetary costs to our society. The epidemic of obesity stems from a clash between genes that allowed our ancestors to survive extended periods of famine and the caloric excess and sedentary lifestyle of the modern world. Research is needed to better understand how body weight is regulated.
Dr. Brown also investigates how hormonal changes after menopause increase the risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. As more women enter menopause, this knowledge gap represents a growing problem. With a greater understanding of the role of ovarian hormones in obesity, the probability that new interventions will be successfully developed is more likely.
Education and Positions
- Assistant Professor, Dept. of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2006-present
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept. of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2005-2006
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Obesity Research Center, Genome Research Institute, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2003-2006
- Ph.D., Nutrition, University of Maryland, College Park, 2003
Research Interest (For more information)
- Sex differences in obesity and central controls of food intake.
- Determine the role of estrogen in determining visceral fat as well as the brain's sensitivity to leptin in middle-aged female rats.
- Central leptin/insulin resistance and their importance in the metabolic syndrome.
- The role of estrogen in reducing inflammation and its role in reducing diet-induced obesity.
- The importance of sex hormones in body fat distribution and energy homeostasis.
- The role of sex hormones in central insulin and leptin resistance and increased visceral fat associated with aging.
- Central insulin resistance in animals maintained on low- and high-fat diets.
- Castonguay TW & LM Brown. Effects of food deprivation, starvation and exercise on dietary selection in the rat. In: HR Berthoud & RJ Seeley (eds.) Metabolically Driven Changes in Macronutrient Selection. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 219 - 232, 2000.
- Castonguay TW, S Beaulieu, RL Eskay, N Barden, K Kamara, S Khozin, L Lustberg & LM Brown. The effects of adrenalectomy and aldosterone replacement in transgenic mice expressing antisense RNA to the type-2 glucocorticoid receptor. Physiology and Behavior 77:417-423, 2002.
- Haggans CJ, KS Regan, LM Brown, C Wang, J Krebs-Smith, PM Coates & CA Swanson. Computer access to research on dietary supplements (CARDS), a database of federally funded dietary supplement research. Journal of Nutrition, 135: 1796-1799, 2005.
- Clegg DJ, LM Brown, SC Woods & SC Benoit. Gonadal hormones determine sensitivity to central leptin and insulin. Diabetes, Apr;55(4):978-87, 2006.
- Brown LM, DJ Clegg & SC Woods. Intraventricular insulin and leptin reduce food intake and body weight in C57BL/6J mice. Physiology and Behavior Dec; 89(5):687-691, 2006.
- Brown LM, SC Woods & DJ Clegg. Food intake and plasma ghrelin levels following central ghrelin administration in fatty Zucker rats. Peptides Mar 28(3):612-616, 2007.
- Clegg DJ, LM Brown, CJ Kemp, AD Strader, SC Benoit, SC Woods, M Mangiaracina & N Geary. Estradiol-decrease in the orexigenic potency of ghrelin in female rats. Diabetes Apr;56(4):1051-8, 2007.
- Brown LM and DJ Clegg. Central effects of estradiol in the regulation food intake, body weight, and adiposity. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Oct;122(1-3):65-73. Epub 2009 Dec 24. PMID 20035866.
- Brown LM, L Gent, K Davis & DJ Clegg. Metabolic Impact of Estrogen on Obesity. Brain Research 2010 Sep 2; 1350:77-85. Epub 2010 May 21. PMID 20441773.
- Clegg DJ, Gotoh K, Kemp C, Wortman MD, Benoit SC, Brown LM, D'Alessio D, Tso P, Seeley RJ, & SC Woods. Consumption of a high-fat diet induces central insulin resistance independent of obesity. Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1):10-16. Epub 2011 Jan 15. PMID: 21241723
- de Kloet AD, G Pacheco-López, W Langhans, LM Brown. The effect of TNFα on food intake and central insulin sensitivity in rats. Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1):17-20. Epub 2010 Dec 14. PMID: 21163282
- Brown LM, CT Hansen, AF Huberty & TW Castonguay. Traits of the metabolic syndrome alter corpulent obesity in LAN, SHR and DSS rats: Behavioral and metabolic interactions with adrenalectomy. Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1): 98-103. Epub 2010 Dec 31. PMID: 21199663- Miller CN, TG Kauffman, PT Cooney, KR Ramseur, LM Brown. Comparison of DEXA and QMR technologies for fat and lean body mass in adult rat models. Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1): 117-121. Epub 2010 Dec 15. PMID: 21167190