Our research interests lie in understanding how gonadal hormones, primarily estradiol (E2), and biological sex control motivated behavior. In particular, our work focuses on understanding how ingestive behaviors are controlled in the female rat. Foundational studies in the twentieth century established a role of E2 in the control of water, saline, and food intake in adult female rats. Specifically, these studies demonstrated that circulating E2 in adulthood decreases stimulated fluid intake and food intake. Recently, we have identified bidirectional effects of E2 on the controls of fluid intake. Under certain conditions, E2 can also increase fluid intake. These bidirectional effects of E2 likely work in concert to defend fluid homeostasis at a given physiological set point. The underlying mechanisms, however, by which E2 modulates intake are unknown. Our primary goal is to elucidate these mechanisms.

Santollo Laboratory

Neuroendocrinology of Fluid and Energy Intake





Phone: 859-323-5156 |  Email: j.santollo@uky.edu


We are recruiting graduate students for Fall 2024. Please email me if interested!



Our work is funded by grant 2019346 from the National Science Foundation.