Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Premenopausal women appear to have some protection from cardiovascular disease that is lost as they transition into menopause. Additionally, dysregulated eating can lead to diabetes, and women with diabetes have a three times higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than women without diabetes. Maintaining proper fluid balance and body weight is critical to prevent cardiovascular- and obesity-related diseases, respectively. Estrogens, in particular estradiol, inhibit water, saline, and food intake in a variety of species, including humans, and low estradiol levels in postmenopausal women are associated with an increased risk for developing cardiovascular- and obesity-related health problems. Moreover, salt intake, which again is inhibited by estradiol, is associated with high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, it is still unclear how estrogens modulate intake in healthy animals. Therefore, understanding how estradiol modulates fluid and food intake is a crucial step toward developing interventions that reduce morbidity and improve quality of life for postmenopausal women.

Santollo Laboratory

Neuroendocrinology of Fluid and Energy Balance





Phone: 859-323-5156 |  Email:


Department of Biology

211 Thomas Hunt Morgan

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506



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

The laboratory has openings for graduate students (Fall 2021). Please contact me for more information.