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William E. Armstrong, PhD

Emeritus Professor 
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
Email: William E. Armstrong


  • PhD, 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

  • Kirchner MK, Armstrong WE, Guan D, Ueta Y, Foehring RC. PIP(2) alters of Ca(2+) currents in acutely dissociated supraoptic oxytocin neurons. Physiol Rep. 2019 Aug;7(16):e14198. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14198. PubMed PMID: 31444865; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6708058.
  • Armstrong WE, Foehring RC, Kirchner MK, Sladek CD. Electrophysiological properties of identified oxytocin and vasopressin neurones. J Neuroendocrinol. 2019 Mar;31(3):e12666. doi: 10.1111/jne.12666. Epub 2019 Feb 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 30521104.
  • Kirchner MK, Foehring RC, Callaway J, Armstrong WE. Specificity in the interaction of high-voltage-activated Ca(2+) channel types with Ca(2+)-dependent afterhyperpolarizations in magnocellular supraoptic neurons. J Neurophysiol. 2018 Oct 1;120(4):1728-1739. doi: 10.1152/jn.00285.2018. Epub 2018 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 30020842; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6230773.
  • Wang L, Chandaka GK, Foehring RC, Callaway JC, Armstrong WE. Changes in potassium channel modulation may underlie afterhyperpolarization plasticity in oxytocin neurons during late pregnancy. J Neurophysiol. 2018 May 1;119(5):1745-1752. doi: 10.1152/jn.00608.2017. Epub 2018 Mar 14. PubMed PMID: 29537926; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6008096.
  • Kirchner MK, Foehring RC, Wang L, Chandaka GK, Callaway JC, Armstrong WE. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2) ) modulates afterhyperpolarizations in oxytocin neurons of the supraoptic nucleus. J Physiol. 2017 Jul 15;595(14):4927-4946. doi: 10.1113/JP274219. Epub 2017 May 15. PubMed PMID: 28383826; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5509854.
  • Armstrong WE. Kisspeptin: a new peptidergic system regulating oxytocin neurons and their reproductive plasticity in the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system. J Physiol. 2017 Feb 1;595(3):611-612. doi: 10.1113/JP273364. PubMed PMID: 28145008; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5285614.

View more references (pubmed link)

May 26, 2022