Naomi E. Rance, MD, PhD



1501 N Campbell Ave, LSN 547
PO Box 245043
Department of Pathology
Tucson, AZ 85724-5043
(520) 626-6099
(520) 626-1027

Dr. Rance is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Neurology. The overall goal of the laboratory has been to characterize and understand the changes that occur in the hypothalamus of women in response to the ovarian failure of menopause. We have described hypertrophy and increased gene expression in a subpopulation of neurons in the hypothalamic infundibular (arcuate) nucleus of postmenopausal women.   These neurons are called KNDy neurons based on the expression of kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin. For many years, we conducted studies to elucidate the role of NKB in reproductive regulation. More recently, basic studies were initiated to characterize effects of estradiol on the hypothalamic regulation of body temperature. Armed with this information, we are now able to study the neural circuitry for estrogen effects on thermoregulation.  We wish to understand how the dramatic changes in gene expression in the postmenopausal human hypothalamus relate to the changes in hypothalamic thermoregulation known as hot flushes. 


PhD: Physiology Department, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
MD: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Resident, Anatomic Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Neuropathology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Selected Publications

  • Cholanian M, Krajewski-Hall SJ, Levine RB, McMullen NT, Rance NE. Electrophysiology of Arcuate Neurokinin B Neurons in Female Tac2-EGFP Transgenic Mice. Endocrinology. 2014;155:2555–2565.
  • Rance NE, Dacks PA, Mittelman-Smith MA, Romanovsky AA, Krajewski-Hall SJ. Modulation of body temperature and LH secretion by hypothalamic KNDy (kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin) neurons: a novel hypothesis on the mechanism of hot flushes. Front. Neuroendocrinol. 2013;34:211–227.
  • Mittelman-Smith MA, Williams H, Krajewski-Hall SJ, McMullen NT, Rance NE. Role for kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin (KNDy) neurons in cutaneous vasodilatation and the estrogen modulation of body temperature. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2012;109:19846–19851.
  • Mittelman-Smith MA, Williams H, Krajewski-Hall SJ, Lai J, Ciofi P, McMullen NT, Rance NE. Arcuate kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin (KNDy) neurons mediate the estrogen suppression of gonadotropin secretion and body weight. Endocrinology. 2012;153:2800–2812.
  • Dacks PA, Krajewski SJ, Rance NE. Activation of neurokinin 3 receptors in the median preoptic nucleus decreases core temperature in the rat. Endocrinology. 2011;152:4894–4905.
  • Dacks PA, Krajewski SJ, Rance NE. Ambient temperature and 17β-estradiol modify Fos immunoreactivity in the median preoptic nucleus, a putative regulator of skin vasomotion. Endocrinology. 2011;152:2750–2759.
  • Rance NE, Krajewski SJ, Smith MA, Cholanian M, Dacks PA. Neurokinin B and the hypothalamic regulation of reproduction. Brain Res. 2010;1364:116–128.
  • Williams H, Dacks PA, Rance NE. An improved method for recording tail skin temperature in the rat reveals changes during the estrous cycle and effects of ovarian steroids. Endocrinology. 2010;151:5389–5394.
  • Krajewski SJ, Burke MC, Anderson MJ, McMullen NT, Rance NE. Forebrain projections of arcuate neurokinin B neurons demonstrated by anterograde tract-tracing and monosodium glutamate lesions in the rat. Neuroscience. 2010;166:680–697.
  • Dacks PA, Rance NE. Effects of estradiol on the thermoneutral zone and core temperature in ovariectomized rats. Endocrinology. 2010;151:1187–1193.