Karen Houseknecht presents at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting

L-R: Megan Beauchemin, Anisha Contractor, Karen Houseknecht
L-R: Megan Beauchemin, Anisha Contractor, Karen Houseknecht

April 04, 2016

Karen Houseknecht, Ph.D., professor of biomedical sciences in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, in collaboration with her laboratory and Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) researchers Katherine Motyl, Ph.D., and Cliff Rosen, M.D., presented at the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting and Expo held April 1-4 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Houseknecht and her collaborators presented three posters on the mechanisms underlying adverse endocrine and metabolic side effects of antipsychotic (AA) medications. The ultimate goals of this research are to inform FDA labeling and provider prescription practices, identify novel co-therapies to minimize side effect risk in patients and inform new drug discovery/development strategies to optimize safety and efficacy.

The first poster addressed the AA drug risperidone, examining the effect of acute risperidone treatment on the expression of microRNAs that are implicated in cardiovascular disease. AA drugs are associated with cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, especially in the elderly, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood.

The second and third posters focused on elucidating mechanisms related to AA-induced bone loss. Patients treated with risperidone have a two to three-fold increase in fracture rates, observed both in adults and children. 

The following posters were presented:

  • Megan Beauchemin, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow; Anisha Contractor, (COM ’18), 2015-16 Peter Morgane Research Fellow; Ivy Bergquist, behavioral core manager; Amy Davidoff Ph.D., professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Karen L Houseknecht. Ph.D., presented “Acute treatment with the antipsychotic drug, risperidone, regulates microRNAs associated with cardiovascular disease.”
  • Katherine J Motyl, Ph.D., Clifford J Rosen, M.D., and Karen L Houseknecht. Ph.D., presented “Hyperprolactinemia-induced hypogonadism does not explain bone loss from the atypical antipsychotic, risperidone.”
  • Karen L Houseknecht, Ph.D.; Phuong T Le, research scientist; Megan Beauchemin, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow; Deborah Barlow, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow; Katherine J Motyl, Ph.D.; and Clifford J Rosen M.D., presented “Direct effects of dopamine in osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation: Mechanisms underlying antipsychotic-induced bone loss.”

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

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