Dr Scarlett Pinnock

Scarlett Pinnock

University position

Senior Research Associate


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair

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Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


The rate of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus is highly labile. Much of this lability is due to the exquisite sensitivity of the progenitor cells to glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids have two principal roles: absolute levels regulate the proliferation rate of the progenitor cells, and the presence of an intact diurnal corticoid rhythm is an essential requirement for the action of two further controlling factors: serotonin and nitric oxide (NO). The stimulating actions of both the SSRI fluoxetine and L-NAME requires the diurnal rhythm of corticosterone. Therefore is there a common factor regulating progenitor proliferation that is sensitive to both serotonin and NO? Is this factor also dependent on an intact diurnal rhythm, or is its action downstream of this regulatory point?

BDNF is a plausible candidate as a common factor regulating proliferation in the dentate gyrus the interaction between SSRI, BDNF and NO are the major focus of intrest.

Immunostaining of cells in the dentate gyrus with different markers
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Research Focus






Nitric oxide

Clinical conditions

Depressive disorders


Behavioural analysis



No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Liu JX, Pinnock SB, Herbert J (2011), “Novel control by the CA3 region of the hippocampus on neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult rat.” PLoS One 6(3):e17562 Details



    Gilhooley MJ, Pinnock SB, Herbert J (2011), “Rhythmic expression of per1 in the dentate gyrus is suppressed by corticosterone: implications for neurogenesis.” Neurosci Lett 489(3):177-81 Details


    Pinnock SB, Blake AM, Platt NJ, Herbert J (2010), “The roles of BDNF, pCREB and Wnt3a in the latent period preceding activation of progenitor cell mitosis in the adult dentate gyrus by fluoxetine.” PLoS One 5(10):e13652 Details


    Benrick A, Schéle E, Pinnock SB, Wernstedt-Asterholm I, Dickson SL, Karlsson-Lindahl L, Jansson JO (2009), “Interleukin-6 gene knockout influences energy balance regulating peptides in the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei.” J Neuroendocrinol 21(7):620-8 Details

    Pinnock SB, Lazic SE, Wong HT, Wong IH, Herbert J (2009), “Synergistic effects of dehydroepiandrosterone and fluoxetine on proliferation of progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult male rat.” Neuroscience 158(4):1644-51 Details


    Pinnock SB, Herbert J (2008), “Brain-derived neurotropic factor and neurogenesis in the adult rat dentate gyrus: interactions with corticosterone.” Eur J Neurosci 27(10):2493-500 Details


    Pinnock SB, Balendra R, Chan M, Hunt LT, Turner-Stokes T, Herbert J (2007), “Interactions between nitric oxide and corticosterone in the regulation of progenitor cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the adult rat.” Neuropsychopharmacology 32(2):493-504 Details


    Curley JP, Pinnock SB, Dickson SL, Thresher R, Miyoshi N, Surani MA, Keverne EB (2005), “Increased body fat in mice with a targeted mutation of the paternally expressed imprinted gene Peg3.” FASEB J 19(10):1302-4 Details


    Challis BG, Coll AP, Yeo GS, Pinnock SB, Dickson SL, Thresher RR, Dixon J, Zahn D, Rochford JJ, White A, Oliver RL, Millington G, Aparicio SA, Colledge WH, Russ AP, Carlton MB, O'Rahilly S (2004), “Mice lacking pro-opiomelanocortin are sensitive to high-fat feeding but respond normally to the acute anorectic effects of peptide-YY(3-36).” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(13):4695-700 Details