Gretchen Neigh McCandless, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology

Virginia Commonwealth University

Office: Sanger Hall, 12-071

Fax: 804.828.9477


Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Medical Center
P.O. Box: 980709

Richmond, VA 23298

Additional Websites



B.A., Biology, Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA, 1998
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2004
FIRST Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, 2005-2007


Areas of expertise and Interest:
  • Mechanisms mediating risk and resilience to stress
  • Sex differences in stress-induced changes in physiology and behavior
  • Bidirectional relationship between stress and HIV
  • Immune-Endocrine interactions
  • Behavioral neuroendocrinology


Harrell, C.S., Rowson, S.A., Neigh, G.N. (2015) Pharmacological stimulation of hypoxia inducible factor-1α facilitates the corticosterone response to a mild acute stressor. Neurosci Lett. 600:75-79. PMCID: PMC4506718

Ehrlich, D.E., Neigh, G.N., Bourke, C.H., Nemeth, C.L., Hazra, R., Ryan, S.J., Rowson, S., Jairam, N., Sholar, C.A., Rainnie, D.G., Stowe, Z.N., Owens, M.J. (2015) Prenatal stress, regardless of concurrent escitalopram treatment, alters behavior and amygdala gene expression of adolescent female rats. Neuropharmacology. 97:251-258. PMCID: PMC4537355 

Zhu, D., Li, C., Swanson, A.M., Villalba, R.M., Guo, J., Zhang, Z., Matheny, S., Murakami, T., Stephenson, J.R., Daniel, S., Fukata, M., Hall, R.A., Olson, J.J., Neigh, G.N., Smith, Y., Rainnie, D.G., Van Meir, E.G. (2015) BAI1 regulates spatial learning and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. J Clin Invest. 125(4):1497-508. PMCID: PMC4396478 

Nemeth, C.L., Neigh, G.N. (2015) Microemboli alter the acute stress response and cause prolonged expression of MCP-1 in the hippocampus. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 54:71-7.  DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.01.023

Panagiotakopoulos, L., Kelly, S., Neigh, G.N. (2015) HIV-1 proteins accelerate HPA axis habituation in female rats. Physiol Behav. 150:8-15. PMCID: PMC4529393 

Nemeth, C.L., Reddy, R., Mandakh, B., Bailey, J., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Microglial activation occurs in the absence of anxiety-like behavior following microembolic stroke in female, but not male, rats. J Neuroinflammation. 11:174. PMCID: PMC4232723

Nemeth, C.L., Glasper, E.R., Harrell, C.S., Malviya, S.A., Otis, J.S., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Meloxicam Blocks Neuroinflammation, but Not Depressive-Like Behaviors, in HIV-1 Transgenic Female Rats. PLoS One. 9:e108399. PMCID: PMC4182732 

Burgado, J., Harrell, C.S., Eacret, D., Reddy, R., Barnum, C.J., Tansey, M.G., Miller, A.H., Wang, H., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Two weeks of predatory stress induces anxiety-like behavior with co-morbid depressive-like behavior in adult male mice. Behav Brain Res. 275C:120-125.

Nemeth, C.L., Haroon, E., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Heartsick: psychiatric and inflammatory implications of cerebromicrovascular disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 29:577-85.

Bourke, C.H., Glasper, E.R., Neigh, G.N. (2014) SSRI or CRF antagonism partially ameliorate depressive-like behavior after adolescent social defeat. Behav Brain Res. 270:295-9.

Nemeth, C.L., Gutman, D.A., Majeed, W., Keilholz, S.D., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Microembolism induces anhedonia but no detectable changes in white matter integrity in aged rats. PLoS One. 9(5):e96624. PMCID: PMC4014537

Panagiotakopoulos, L., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Development of the HPA axis: where and when do sex differences manifest? Front Neuroendocrinol. 35:285-302.

Kelly, S.D., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N. (2014) Chronic stress modulates regional cerebral glucose transporter expression in an age-specific and sexually-dimorphic manner. Physiol Behav. 126:39-49. PMCID: PMC3962826 

Sawyer, N.T., Papale, L.A., Eliason, J., Neigh, G.N., Escayg, A. (2014) Scn8a voltage-gated sodium channel mutation alters seizure and anxiety responses to acute stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 39:225-36. PMCID: PMC3989103 

Greenlee, M.M., Mitzelfelt, J.D., Yu, L., Yue, Q., Duke, B.J., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N., Eaton, D.C. (2013) Estradiol activates epithelial sodium channels in rat alveolar cells through the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 305:L878-89. PMCID: PMC3882529

Bourke, C.H., Stowe, Z.N., Neigh, G.N., Olson, D.E., Owens, M.J. (2013) Prenatal exposure to escitalopram and/or stress in rats produces limited effects on endocrine, behavioral, or gene expression measures in adult male rats. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 39:100-9. PMCID: PMC3795959 

Nemeth, C.L., Harrell, C.S., Beck, K.D., Neigh, G.N. (2013) Not all depression is created equal: sex interacts with disease to precipitate depression. Biol Sex Differ. 4:8. PMCID: PMC3639119 

Harrell, C.S., Hardy, E., Boss-Williams, K., Weiss, J.M., Neigh, G.N. (2013) Sex and lineage interact to predict behavioral effects of chronic adolescent stress in rats. Behav Brain Res. 248:57-61.

Nemeth, C.L., Shurte, M.S., McTigue, D.M., Nemeroff, C.B., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Microembolism infarcts lead to delayed changes in affective-like behaviors followed by spatial memory impairment. Behav Brain Res. 234:259-66.

Bourke, C.H., Raees, M.Q., Malviya, S., Bradburn, C.A., Binder, E.B., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Glucocorticoid sensitizers Bag1 and Ppid are regulated by adolescent stress in a sex-dependent manner. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 38:84-93. PMCID: PMC3443296

Bourke, C.H., Harrell, C.S., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Stress-induced sex differences: Adaptations mediated by the glucocorticoid receptor. Horm Behav. 62:210-8. PMCID: PMC3384757 

Barnum, C.J., Pace, T.W., Hu, F., Neigh, G.N., Tansey, M.G. (2012) Psychological stress in adolescent and adult mice increases neuroinflammation and attenuates the response to LPS challenge. J Neuroinflammation. 9:9. PMCID: PMC3283491 

Bourke, C.H., Neigh, G.N. (2012) Exposure to repeated maternal aggression induces depressive-like behavior and increases startle in adult female rats. Behav Brain Res. 227:270-5. PMCID: PMC3242888 

Bourke, C.H., Neigh, G.N. (2011) Behavioral effects of chronic adolescent stress are sustained and sexually dimorphic. Horm Behav. 60:112-20. PMCID: PMC3112263 

Neigh, G.N., Owens, M.J., Taylor, W.R. and Nemeroff, C.B. (2010) Changes in vascular area fraction of the hippocampus and amygdala are induced by prenatal dexamethasone and/or adult stress. J. Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 30:1100-4. PMCID: PMC2949211

Neigh, G.N., Karelina, K., Glasper, E.R., Bowers, S.L., Zhang, N., Popovich, P.G., DeVries, A.C. (2009) Anxiety after cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation: exacerbated by stress and prevented by minocycline. Stroke. 40(11):3601-7. PMCID: PMC2805193 

Neigh, G.N., Gillespie, C.F., Nemeroff, C.B. (2009) The neurobiological toll of child abuse and neglect. Trauma Violence Abuse. 10:389-410.