Gretchen Neigh McCandless, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virgina Commonwealth University Medical Center


B.A., Biology, Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA, 1998
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2004
FIRST Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, 2005-2007

Research Statement

Dr. Neigh's research uses animal models to provide insight into the role of cerebral vascular and metabolic compromise in the generation of affective and cognitive disorders. Her work focuses on periods of increased plasticity and susceptibility to insults such as adolescence and late life. The work in Dr. Neigh's lab is multidisciplinary and attends to the interplay among the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems. In addition, her work spans multiple levels of analysis from assessment and manipulation of gene expression, to imaging in rodents, to behavioral analysis. 


Grant Support

Current Support
Agency: NIH/NIMH
Project Number: 1K18MH105098-01
Project Period: September 15, 2014 - August 31, 2015

Past Support
Project Number: 5R21MH091321-02
Project Period: July 1, 2010 - March 31, 2013


Recent Publications

Harrell, C.S., Rowson, S.A., Neigh, G.N. (2015) Pharmacological stimulation of hypoxia inducible factor-1α facilitates the corticosterone response to a mild acute stressor. Neurosci Lett. 600:75-79. PMCID: PMC4506718

Ehrlich, D.E., Neigh, G.N., Bourke, C.H., Nemeth, C.L., Hazra, R., Ryan, S.J., Rowson, S., Jairam, N., Sholar, C.A., Rainnie, D.G., Stowe, Z.N., Owens, M.J. (2015) Prenatal stress, regardless of concurrent escitalopram treatment, alters behavior and amygdala gene expression of adolescent female rats. Neuropharmacology. 97:251-258. [Epub ahead of print]

Zhu, D., Li, C., Swanson, A.M., Villalba, R.M., Guo, J., Zhang, Z., Matheny, S., Murakami, T., Stephenson, J.R., Daniel, S., Fukata, M., Hall, R.A., Olson, J.J., Neigh, G.N., Smith, Y., Rainnie, D.G., Van Meir, E.G. (2015) BAI1 regulates spatial learning and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. J Clin Invest. 125(4):1497-508. PMCID: PMC4396478

Nemeth, C.L., Neigh, G.N. (2015) Microemboli alter the acute stress response and cause prolonged expression of MCP-1 in the hippocampus.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 54:71-7.

Panagiotakopoulos, L., Kelly, S., Neigh, G.N. (2015) HIV-1 proteins accelerate HPA axis habituation in female rats. Physiol Behav. 2015 Feb 7. pii: S0031-9384(15)00075-X. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.011. [Epub ahead of print]

Nemeth, C.L., Reddy, R., Mandakh, B., Bailey, J., Neigh, G.N. (2014)  Microglial activation occurs in the absence of anxiety-like behavior following microembolic stroke in female, but not male, rats. J Neuroinflammation. 11:174. PMCID: PMC4232723

Nemeth, C.L., Glasper, E.R., Harrell, C.S., Malviya, S.A., Otis, J.S., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Meloxicam Blocks Neuroinflammation, but Not Depressive-Like Behaviors, in HIV-1 Transgenic Female Rats. PLoS One. 9:e108399. PMCID: PMC4182732

Burgado, J., Harrell, C.S., Eacret, D., Reddy, R., Barnum, C.J., Tansey, M.G., Miller, A.H., Wang, H., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Two weeks of predatory stress induces anxiety-like behavior with co-morbid depressive-like behavior in adult male mice. Behav Brain Res. 275C:120-125.

Nemeth, C.L., Haroon, E., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Heartsick: psychiatric and inflammatory implications of cerebromicrovascular disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 29:577-85.

Bourke, C.H., Glasper, E.R., Neigh, G.N. (2014) SSRI or CRF antagonism partially ameliorate depressive-like behavior after adolescent social defeat. Behav Brain Res. 270:295-9.

Nemeth, C.L., Gutman, D.A., Majeed, W., Keilholz, S.D., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Microembolism induces anhedonia but no detectable changes in white matter integrity in aged rats. PLoS One. 9(5):e96624. PMCID: PMC4014537

Panagiotakopoulos, L., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Development of the HPA axis: where and when do sex differences manifest? Front Neuroendocrinol. 35:285-302.

Kelly, S.D., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Chronic stress modulates regional cerebral glucose transporter expression in an age-specific and sexually-dimorphic manner. Physiol Behav. 126:39-49. PMCID: PMC3962826

Sawyer, N.T., Papale, L.A., Eliason, J., Neigh, G.N., Escayg, A. (2014) Scn8a voltage-gated sodium channel mutation alters seizure and anxiety responses to acute stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 39:225-36. PMCID: PMC3989103

Greenlee, M.M., Mitzelfelt, J.D., Yu, L., Yue, Q., Duke, B.J., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N., Eaton, D.C. (2013) Estradiol activates epithelial sodium channels in rat alveolar cells through the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 305:L878-89. PMCID: PMC3882529

Bourke, C.H., Stowe, Z.N., Neigh, G.N., Olson, D.E., Owens, M.J.  (2013) Prenatal exposure to escitalopram and/or stress in rats produces limited effects on endocrine, behavioral, or gene expression measures in adult male rats. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 39:100-9. PMCID: PMC3795959

Nemeth, C.L., Harrell, C.S., Beck, K.D., Neigh, G.N. (2013) Not all depression is created equal: sex interacts with disease to precipitate depression. Biol Sex Differ. 4:8. PMCID: PMC3639119

Harrell, C.S., Hardy, E., Boss-Williams, K., Weiss, J.M., Neigh, G.N. (2013)  Sex and lineage interact to predict behavioral effects of chronic adolescent stress in rats. Behav Brain Res. 248:57-61.

Nemeth, C.L., Shurte, M.S., McTigue, D.M., Nemeroff, C.B., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Microembolism infarcts lead to delayed changes in affective-like behaviors followed by spatial memory impairment.  Behav Brain Res. 234:259-66.

Bourke, C.H., Raees, M.Q., Malviya, S., Bradburn, C.A., Binder, E.B., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Glucocorticoid sensitizers Bag1 and Ppid are regulated by adolescent stress in a sex-dependent manner.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 38:84-93.  PMCID: PMC3443296

Bourke, C.H., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Stress-induced sex differences: Adaptations mediated by the glucocorticoid receptor.  Horm Behav. 62:210-8. PMCID: PMC3384757

Barnum, C.J., Pace, T.W., Hu, F., Neigh, G.N., Tansey, M.G. (2012) Psychological stress in adolescent and adult mice increases neuroinflammation and attenuates the response to LPS challenge.  J Neuroinflammation. 9:9.  PMCID: PMC3283491

Bourke, C.H., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Exposure to repeated maternal aggression induces depressive-like behavior and increases startle in adult female rats.  Behav Brain Res. 227:270-5. PMCID: PMC3242888

Bourke, C.H., Neigh, G.N. (2011) Behavioral effects of chronic adolescent stress are sustained and sexually dimorphic. Horm Behav. 60:112-20. PMCID: PMC3112263

Neigh, G.N., Owens, M.J., Taylor, W.R. and Nemeroff, C.B. (2010) Changes in vascular area fraction of the hippocampus and amygdala are induced by prenatal dexamethasone and/or adult stress. J. Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 30:1100-4. PMCID: PMC2949211

Neigh, G.N., Karelina, K., Glasper, E.R., Bowers, S.L., Zhang, N., Popovich, P.G., DeVries, A.C. (2009) Anxiety after cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation: exacerbated by stress and prevented by minocycline. Stroke. 40(11):3601-7. PMCID: PMC2805193

Neigh, G.N., Gillespie, C.F., Nemeroff, C.B. (2009) The neurobiological toll of child abuse and neglect. Trauma Violence Abuse. 10:389-410.


Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
Anatomy and Neurobiology 
Sanger Hall, 12-071 
P.O. Box: 980709 
Richmond, VA 23298 
Fax: 804.828.9477 

Emory University School of Medicine
Department of Physiology
Atlanta, GA 30322-3110
(404) 727-7410 Office ~ (404) 727-2648 FAX

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