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Johnson Lab

The research lab of Philip L. Johnson, PhD, focuses on integregating preclinical and clinical research to investigate the mechanisms of centrally regulated anxiety and panic associated behavior that coincides with cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory activity. Researchers in this lab are trying to determine how these systems contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders such as panic disorder and post-traumatic disorder.

Since women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with these anxiety-related disorders than men and because a dramatic loss of ovarian function occurs during menopause which leads to disruption in anxiety, mood and thermoregulation, the lab is also investigating how sex hormones such as estrogen modulate activity within these circuits.

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Recent Publications

For a full list of Johnson’s publication history, please find him on Google Scholar or search on PubMed.
  • 2017

    Federici LM, Dorsey Roth S, Krier C, Fitz SD, Skaar T, Shekhar A, Carpenter, JS, Johnson PL. Air Hunger CO2 Stimulus Elicits Exacerbated Hot Flash-like Responses in a Rat Menopause Model and Subjective Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women. Menopause.

    Federici LM, Caliman IF, Molosh AI, Fitz SD, Truitt W, Carpenter J, Shekhar A, Johnson PL. Hypothalamic Orexin’s Role in Hot Flash-Associated Responses in a Surgical Menopause Model. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

  • 2016
    Hassell JE Jr, Yamashita PSM, Johnson PL, Zangrossi H Jr, Shekhar A, Lowry CA. Stress, panic and central serotonergic inhibition. Handbook of Stress, 2nd Ed., Neuroendocrinology and Endocrinology G. Fink (Ed). Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2016.
  • 2015
    Johnson PL, Fitz SD, Molosh A, Shekhar A. Orexin 1 but not orexin 2 receptor antagonist attenuate CO2-induced panic associated behaviour and physiology. Depression and Anxiety Sep;32(9):671-83 (2015).

    Johnson PL, Molosh AI, Federici LM, Fitz SD, Arendt D, Deehan GA, Federici LM, Bernabe C, Engleman EA, Shekhar A. Pharmacological Depletion of Serotonin in the Basolateral Amygdala Complex Reduces Anxiety and Disrupts Fear Conditioning. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior.

    Bonaventure P, Yun S, Johnson PL, Shekhar A, Fitz SD, Shireman B, Lebold TP, Nepomuceno D, Lord B, Wennerholm M, Shelton J, Carruthers N, Lovenberg T, Dugovic C. A selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist attenuates stress induced hyperarousal without hypnotic effects. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Mar;352(3):590-601 (2015).

    Molosh AI*, Johnson PL*, Spence JP, Segu ZM, Khanna R, Goswami G, Federici LM, Zhu W, Li L, Mechref YS, Clapp W, Shekhar A. Genetic Regulation of Social Learning: Role of Neurofibromatosis type 1 and p21-activated kinase 1 genes in mice. Nature Neuroscience (in press) * indicates equal contribution.

  • 2014
    Johnson PL, Federici LM, Shekhar A. Etiology, Triggers and Neurochemical Circuits Associated with Unexpected, Expected, and Laboratory-induced Panic Attacks. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. (2014) in press.

    Paul ED, Johnson PL, Shekhar A, Lowry CA. The Deakin/Graeff hypothesis: Focus on serotonergic inhibition of panic. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. (2014) Mar 21.

    Lungwitz EA, Stuber GD, Johnson PL, Dietrich AD, Schartz N, Hanrahan B, Shekhar A, Truitt WA. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in regulating social familiarity-induced anxiolysis.

    Neuropsychopharmacology, (2014) Mar;39(4): Johnson PL, Sajdyk TJ, Fitz SD, Hale MW, Lowry CA, Hay-Schmidt A, Shekhar A. Angiotensin II’s role in sodium lactate-induced panic-like responses in rats with repeated urocortin 1 injections into the basolateral amygdala: amygdalar angiotensin receptors and panic. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (2013) Jul;44:248-56..

Faculty Research Team

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members include Crisitian Bernabe (PhD Candidate Medical Neuroscience Program), Izabela Caliman (PhD Visiting Scholar Brazil) and David Haggerty (Masters of Science Research in Anatomy & Cell Biology).