Suzanne M. Appleyard

Suzanne M. Appleyard

Professor; Associate Director of Graduate Studies

Accepting Graduate Students
Room: Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building (VBR) room 351
Phone: (509) 335-7784 Phone: (509) 335-0905



Dr. Appleyard has been working in the field of energy homeostasis for over 12 years, using both mouse
genetic and electrophysiological approaches. She has extensive experience using transgenic mouse models and in particular mouse models where EGFP (enhanced green florescent protein) is driven by promoters to identify specific neuronal populations, namely both the TH-EGFP (tyrosine hydroxylase) and POMC-EGFP (proopiomelanocortin) mouse models. She has over ten years’ experience investigating NTS function and circuitry using both electrophysiological and immunocytochemical techniques. Dr. Appleyard has over 20 years’ experience investigating signal transduction mechanisms, most recently the molecular mechanisms underlying leptin’s actions, including investigating leptin-induced dendritic spine and synapse formation. Dr. Appleyard also has experience using behavioral techniques to investigate food intake and related behaviors.

Biographical Information

Dr. Suzanne Appleyard completed a B.Sc. in Pharmacology in 1991 at the University College London in the UK. She then went on to complete a Ph.D in Pharmacology and Neurobiology in 1998 from the University of Washington in Seattle. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, which led to her appointment as a research assistant professor in the same location. She has been at Washington State University since 2007.

Current Funding

NIH Integration of Peripheral and Central Appetite Signals by Brainstem Neurons: Relevance to Obesity (PI)
NIH Role of Glutamate in Control of Food Intake (Co-PI)
NIH Leptin and the Nutritional Programming of Obesity and Diabetes (Co-I)
NIH Leptin Regulation of GABAergic Synaptogenesis and Excitation-Inhibition Balance During Development: Effects of Maternal Obesity (Co-I)
Select Publications
  • Benoist CC, Kawas LH, Zhu M, Tyson KA, Stillmaker L, Appleyard S.M., Wright JW, Wayman GA, Harding JW (2014) The pro-cognitive and synaptogenic effects of angiotensin IV-derived peptides are dependent on activation of the hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met system J Pharmacol Exp Ther PMID: 25187433 PMCID:
  • Guimond D, Diabira D, Porcher C, Bader F, Ferrand N, Zhu M, Appleyard SM, Wayman GA, Gaiarsa JL (2014) Leptin potentiates GABAergic synaptic transmission in the developing rodent hippocampus Front Cell Neurosci 8, 235 PMID: 25187433 PMCID:
  • Dhar M, Wayman GA, Zhu M, Lambert TJ, Davare MA, Appleyard SM (2014) Leptin-induced spine formation requires TrpC channels and the CaM Kinase cascade in the hippocampus J. Neuroscience 34(30), 10022-33 PMID: 25057204 PMCID:
  • Ho JM, Anekonda VT, Thompson BW, Zhu M, Curry RW, Hwang BH, Morton GJ, Schwartz MW, Baskin DG, Appleyard SM, Blevins JE (2014) Hindbrain oxytocin receptors mediate the effects of circulating oxytocin on food intake in male rats Endocrinology 155(8), 2845-57 PMID: 24877632 PMCID:
  • Dhar M, Zhu M, Lambert TJ, Davare M, Appleyard SM, Wayman GA (2014) Leptin induces hippocampal synaptogenesis via CREB-regulated microRNA-132 Molecular Endocrinology (7), 1073-87 PMID: 24877561 PMCID:
  • Lesiak A, Zhu M, Chen H, Appleyard SM, Impey S, Lein PJ, Wayman GA (2014) The environmental Neurotoxicant, PCB95, Promotes Synaptogenesis Via Ryanodine Receptor-Mediated Activation of CREB-Dependent miR132 Upregulation J. Neuroscience 34(3), 717-25 PMID: PMCID:
  • Zhao H, Peters JH, Zhu M, Ritter RC, and Appleyard SM (2014) Frequency-dependent facilitation of synaptic throughput via postsynaptic NMDA receptors in the nucleus of the solitary tract J Physiol 593(1):111-125 PMID: 25281729 PMCID: PMC4293058
  • Lesiak A, Pelz C, Ando H, Zhu M, Davare M, Lambert L, Dwyer J, Obrietan K, Appleyard SM, Impey S, Wayman GA (2013) A genome-wide screen of CREB occupancy identifies the RhoA inhibitors Pard6A and Rnd3 as novel regulators of BDNF-induced synaptogenesis PLoS One 8(6), e64658 PMID: PMCID:
  • Cui RJ, Roberts BL, Zhao H, Zhu M, Appleyard SM (2012) Serotonin activates catecholamine neurons in the Solitary Tract Nucleus by increasing spontaneous glutamate inputs J. Neuroscience 32(46), 16530-8 PMID: PMCID:

List of Publications