Joseph G. Verbalis, MD

Professor of Medicine and Division Chief of Endocrinology
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Medicine
Director, Georgetown Clinical Research Center
Suite 232, Building D
4000 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20057 
Phone: 202 687-2818
Fax: 202 687-2040 
verbalis@georgetown.edu 

Research Interests

Sex differences in caloric, sodium and water homeostasis

Research Summary

My research has broadly targeted neurohypophysial function, from fairly classical studies of the regulation of vasopressin and oxytocin secretion from the neurohypophysis, to studies of the involvement of centrally-secreted oxytocin in the regulation of ingestive behavior, to studies of peripheral action of vasopressin in the kidney, to disorders of body water metabolism caused by inappropriate vasopressin secretion. At the present time, we are focusing on: 1) the mechanisms underlying renal escape from vasopressin-induced antidiuresis, 2) the role of blood-brain barrier disruption and complement in causing osmotically-induced brain demyelination, and the possible relation of this mechanism to disorders such as multiple sclerosis, 3) communication between the hypothalamus (PVN) and brainstem (NTS), particularly oxytocinergic pathways, in modulating NaCl and ethanol ingestion and 4) the effects of glucose on the regulation of gastric motility in both normal and diabetic rats. Our studies are done almost exclusively in vivo, which is our forte, but using a broad range of methodologies, including behavioral (drinking quantitation), neurophysiological (cFos expression mapping), cellular (ligand-receptor binding and protein expression by western blotting) and molecular (mRNA quantification by northern blotting and in situ hybridization) techniques. Our long-term goal is to understand both central and peripheral regulation and effects of vasopressin and oxytocin, and how they are integrated in the overall regulation of body osmotic, i.e. solute and water, and caloric homeostasis in both males and females. 

Representative Publications
  • Glasgow, E., Murase, T., Zhang, B., Verbalis, J.G. and Gainer, H.: Gene expression in the rat supraoptic nucleus induced by chronic hyperosmolality versus hypoosmolality. American Journal of Physiology 279:R1239-R1250, 2000.
  • Baker, E.A., Tian, Y., Adler, S. and Verbalis, J.G.: Evidence in support of blood-brain barrier disruption and complement activation in the brain following rapid correction of chronic hyponatremia. Journal of Experimental Neurology 165:221-230, 2000.
  • Roesch, D.M., Tian, Y., Zheng, W., Shi, M., Verbalis, J.G. and Sandberg, K.S.: Estradiol attenuates angiotensin-induced aldosterone secretion in ovariectomized rats. Endocrinology 141:4629-4636, 2000.
  • Ferreira, M., Browning, K.N., Sahibzada, N., Verbalis, J.G., Gillis, R.A. and Travagli, A.: Glucose effects on gastric motility and tone evoked from the rat dorsal vagal complex. Journal of Physiology 546:141-152, 2001.
  • Leng, G., Brown, C.H., Bull, P.M., Brown, D., Scullion, S., Currie, J., Blackburn-Munro, R.E., Feng, J., Onaka, T., Verbalis, J.G., Russell, J.A. and Ludwig, M.: Responses of magnocellular neurons to osmotic stimulation involves co-activation of excitatory and inhibitory input: an experimental and theoretical analysis. Journal of Neuroscience 21:6967-6977, 2001.