William E. Armstrong, Ph.D.

William E. Armstrong, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Institute Director

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Suite 515
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5995
Fax: (901) 448-7193
Lab: 210 Wittenborg Anatomy Building
Email: William E. Armstrong


  • Ph.D. Institution: Michigan State University, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience Program
  • Postdoctoral: University of Rochester School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy; University of Geneva School of Medicine, Department of Physiology

Research Interests

My research is focused on understanding how neurosecretory neurons of the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system release the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin into the general circulation. Current experiments include: 1) conventional intracellular and whole cell recordings of immunocytochemically identified oxytocin and vasopressin neurons, to determine differences between oxytocin and vasopressin neurons and how these differences relate to firing patterns during hormone release; 2) combined light and electron microscopic morphological studies to characterize the synaptic inputs to these neurons and understand the neural circuits which control the firing pattern of these neurons; and 3) characterizing plasticity in the intrinsic and synaptic properties of these neurons as a function of endocrine state.

Representative Publications

  • Chandaka GK, Wang L, Senogles S, Armstrong WE. Late Pregnancy is a Critical Period for Changes in Phosphorylated Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 1/2 in Oxytocin Neurones. J Neuroendocrinol. 2016 Sep;28(9). doi: 10.1111/jne.12398. PubMed PMID: 27203238; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5028259.
  • Guan D, Armstrong WE, Foehring RC. Electrophysiological properties of genetically identified subtypes of layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons: Ca²⁺ dependence and differential modulation by norepinephrine. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Apr 1;113(7):2014-32. doi: 10.1152/jn.00524.2014. PubMed PMID: 25568159; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4416592.
  • Wang L, Ennis M, Szabó G, Armstrong WE. Characteristics of GABAergic and cholinergic neurons in perinuclear zone of mouse supraoptic nucleus. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Feb 1;113(3):754-67. doi: 10.1152/jn.00561.2014. PubMed PMID: 25376783; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4312876.
  • Tokita K, Armstrong WE, St John SJ, Boughter JD Jr. Activation of lateral hypothalamus-projecting parabrachial neurons by intraorally delivered gustatory stimuli. Front Neural Circuits. 2014 Jul 29;8:86. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00086. PubMed PMID: 25120438; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4114292.
  • Guan D, Armstrong WE, Foehring RC. Kv2 channels regulate firing rate in pyramidal neurons from rat sensorimotor cortex. J Physiol. 2013 Oct 1;591(19):4807-25. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.257253. PubMed PMID: 23878373; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3800456.
  • Scroggs R, Wang L, Teruyama R, Armstrong WE. Variation in sodium current amplitude between vasopressin and oxytocin hypothalamic supraoptic neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Feb;109(4):1017-24. doi: 10.1152/jn.00812.2012. PubMed PMID: 23175803; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3569137.

View more references (pubmed link)

Dr. Armstrong is the coauthor of the newly released Neurophysiology of Neuroendocrine Neurons