Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-3130
Fax: (301) 295-3898
Merrily P.M. Poth, M.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
M.D., Tulane University, 1975
Ineractions of Immune and Endocrine System: Effect of Naloxone on Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis
My research includes work on autonomic neuropathy in diabetes, hormones and bone density, DHEA as an antagonist to glucocorticoids and as a neuro hormone and on the use of neuroimaging in pediatric endocrinology. Research activities include the study of the interactions of immune and endocrine systems, the effect of DHEA on immune function, the mechanisms for diabetic complications, and the importance of nitric oxide as mediator in endocrine systems. This research group, in collaboration with Dr. Jane Sasaki, (Dept of Psychiatry), was the first to describe activity of DHEA as an antiglucocorticoid compound and the first to report the inhibiting effects of TNF on endocrine tissue activation (human thyroid and rat adrenal cortex). They have implicated adrenal nitric oxide synthase as a mediator of TNF effects on adrenal steriod secretion
Studying the interactions of endocrine systems and immune function is important to the understanding and prevention of the medical complications of stress under conditions of war.
Another active project involves the study of the effects on mood of injected long acting progestational steroids used for contraception in adolescent patients.