About Us

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The McCarthy Lab sits at the intersection of neuroscience and endocrinology, utilizing the latest scientific techniques to elucidate the origins and mechanisms of sex differences in the developing brain. We are affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, located in Downtown Baltimore, Maryland. 

Neuroimmunity and Neuroinflammation

  • The body responds to insult or injury by engaging the immune system

  • The immune cells of the brain, microglia and mast cells, coordinate with astrocytes to contain insults and assist in brain repair, by releasing:

    • Prostaglandins

    • Cytokines

    • Free radicals

    • growth factors

  • During development of the male medial preoptic area (mPOA)- a region crucial for expression of male sex behavior, males rats have significantly more active microglia than females

    • A masculinizing dose of estradiol at given to female rats at birth both increases the number and activation state to that of males.