Mark A. Cline

Associate Professor

  • Ph.D. in Neurobiology of Appetite, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

My career has focused on 1) teaching about the biological sciences and 2) understanding the neuroscience of appetite.  I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and came to Virginia Tech as an undergraduate student.  It was at the undergraduate level that I discovered my interest in research.  During my master’s degree, through serving as a teaching assistant, I found that I enjoyed helping others by simplifying complex biological information such that an overall big picture is more easily visualized.  My Ph.D. work, researching the neuroscience of eating disorders, set the course for my long-term research career.  After earning my Ph.D., I joined the faculty in the Biology Department at Radford University where I established my research program and was heavily involved in teaching.  In 2012 I returned to Virginia Tech as a faculty member and have since contributed to the establishment of the then new neuroscience undergraduate program.  I have taught the introductory neuroscience course and worked with several neuroscience majors in the research laboratory.               

The overarching goal of my research program is to explain appetite regulation and to inspire the next generation of neurobiologists. Our group studies neurotransmitters that are associated with the perception of hunger and satiety with a particular interest at the diencephalon and myelencephalon level. The animal models we most commonly use are birds including those from lines that have undergone long-term divergent selection for body weight. These lines consist of anorexic and obese individuals.  We have demonstrated that the severity of anorexia is a function of early life stress exposure, and elucidated the accompanying hypothalamic changes. The results of our research may contribute to increased production efficiencies and also may contribute to the pharmacological cure for anorexia or obesity in a variety of species, including humans. Using birds, the closest taxonomic out-group to mammals, provides a unique perspective with respect to the evolutionary process associated with eating.  We were the first to report the appetite-associated roles of six neurotransmitters in any species and we have contributed to the elucidation of other mechanisms of appetite adjustment.  Additional emphasis is placed on crosstalk between the brain and adipose tissue in the development of obesity with the goal of changing adiposity via changes in hypothalamic signaling.   

  • Ogino, M, M.S. Khan, M. Cline, T. Tachibana. 2016. Acute injections of corticosterone, norepinephrine and epinephrine retards food passage in the crop of chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 225:155-61.
  • Masunari, K., M. Cline, S.I. Khan, T. Tachibana.  2016. Feeding response following central administration of mesotocin and arginine-vasotocin receptor agonists in chicks (Gallus gallus). Physiology and Behavior. 153:149-54. 
  • McConn, B., J. Matias, G. Wang, M. Cline, and E. Gilbert. 2016. Dietary macronutrient composition affects hypothalamic appetite regulation in chicks. Nutritional Neuroscience. In Press.
  • Shipp, S., M. Cline, and E. Gilbert. 2016. Recent advances in the understanding of how neuropeptide Y and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone function in adipose physiology. Adipocyte. In Press.
  • Scheel, A., N. Deal, N. St. John, A. Wells, M. Caruso, E. Gilbert, and M. Cline. 2016. LPRLFamide exerts short-term anorexigenic effects via the magnocellular division of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.  General and Comparative Endocrinology. In Press.
  • Yi, J., M. Delp, E. Gilbert, P. Siegel, and M. Cline. 2016. Anorexia is associated with stress-dependent orexigenic responses to exogenous neuropeptide Y. J. Neuroendocrinology. In Press.
  • McConn, B., J. Yi, E. Gilbert, P. Siegel, V. Chowdhury, M. Furuse, and M. Cline. 2015. Stimulation of food intake after central administration of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone is similar between genetically selected low and high body weight lines of chickens. General and Comparative Endocrinology. In Press.
  • Matias, J., E. Gilbert, M. Denbow, and M. Cline. 2016. Effects of intracerebroventricular injection of rosiglitazone on appetite-associated parameters in chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. In Press.
  • Masunari, K, M Cline, S Khan, T Tachibana. 2015. Feeding response following central administration of mesotocin and arginine-vasotocin receptor agonists in chicks (Gallus gallus).  Physiology and Behavior. In Press.
  • Ogino, M S Khan, M Cline, T Tachibana. 2015. Acute injections of corticosterone, norepinephrine and epinephrine retards food passage in the crop of chicks.  General and Comparative Endocrinology. In Press.
  • Davis, M R Jessee, R Close, X Fu, R Settlage, G Wang, M Cline, E Gilbert. 2015. Fasting for 21 days leads to changes in adipose tissue and liver physiology in juvenile checkered garter snakes (Thamnophis marcianus).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.  190: 68-74.
  • Wang, G T Tachibana, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. Dietary Macronutrient Composition Affects the Influence of Exogenous Prolactin-Releasing Peptide on Appetite Responses and Hypothalamic Gene Expression in Chickens.  Journal of Nutrition. 145: 2406-2411.
  • Wang, G, T Tachibana, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. Exogenous prolactin-releasing peptide’s orexigenic effect is associated with hypothalamic neuropeptide Y in chicks.  Neuropeptides. In Press.
  • Shipp, S, J Yi, S Dridi, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. The central anorexigenic mechanism of adrenocorticotropic hormone involves the caudal hypothalamus in chicks. Neuropeptides. In Press.
  • Shipp, S, M Smith, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. Beta-cell-tropin is associated with short-term stimulation of food intake in chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology.  In Press.
  • Zhang, W, D Didehvar, G Wang, J Yi, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. Anorexigenic effect of serotonin is associated with changes in hypothalamic nuclei activity in an avian model. General and Comparative Endocrinology. In Press.
  • Parker, G L Sumners, X Zhao, C Honaker, P Siegel, M Cline, E Gilbert. 2015. Delayed access of low body weight-selected chicks to food at hatch is associated with up-regulated pancreatic glucagon and glucose transporter gene expression. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.  In Press.
  • Bai, S, G Wang, W. Zhang, S Zhang, B Rice, M Cline, E Gilbert. 2015. Broiler chicken adipose tissue dynamics during the first two weeks post-hatch. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.  In Press.
  • McConn, B, J Park, E. Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. A novel role for xenopsin: Stimulation of food intake. Behavioural Brain Research. 292: 500-507.
  • Yi, J, E Gilbert, P Siegel, M Cline. 2015. Fed and fasted chicks from lines divergently selected for low or high body weight have differential hypothalamic appetite-associated factor mRNA expression profiles. Behavioural Brain Research. 286: 58-63.
  • Nelson, L E Gilbert, M Cline. 2015. Effects of dietary macronutrient composition on exogenous neuropeptide Y’s stimulation of food intake in chicks. Neuroscience Letters. 591:171-175.
  • Ishola P, E Greene, P Nguyen, W Bottje W, M Cline M, A Nicholas, S Dridi. 2015. Leptin and Autophagy: When the Two Masters Meet. Anat Physiol 5: 173.
  • Zhang, W., S. Kim, R. Settlage, W. McMahon, L. Sumners, P. Siegel, B. Dorshorst, M. Cline, and E. Gilbert. 2015. Hypothalamic differences in expression of genes involved in monoamine synthesis and signaling pathways after insulin injection in chickens from lines selected for high and low body weight. Neurogenetics. 16:133-44.
  • Zhang, W., S. Bai, D. Liu, M. A. Cline, and E. Gilbert. 2015. Neuropeptide Y promotes adipogenesis in chicken adipose cells in vitro. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 181:62-70.
  • McConn, B, G Wang J Yi, E Gilbert, T Osugi, T Ubuka, K Tsutsui, V Chowdhury, M Furuse, M Cline. 2014. Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone-stimulation of food intake is mediated by hypothalamic effects in chicks. Neuropeptides. 48: 327-334.
  • Mace, J, T Tachibana, G Wang, B Newmyer, E Guilliams, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2014. Substance P is associated with hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus activation that coincides with increased urotensin 2 mRNA in chicks. Neuropeptides. 48: 305-311.
  • Wang, G, B Brumfield, M DiCroce, L Nelson, B Newmyer, J Flower, K Hipskind, S Sharma, E Gilbert, M Cline. 2014. Anorexigenic effects of central adrenomedullin are associated with hypothalamic changes in juvenile Gallus gallus. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 204:223-228.
  • Rice, B, W Zhang, S Bai, P Siegel, M Cline, E Gilbert. 2014. Insulin-induced hypo-glycemia association with gene expression changes in liver and hypothalamus of chickens from lines selected for low or high body weight. General & Comparative Endocrinology. 208: 1-4.
  • Zhang, W, M Cline, E. Gilbert. 2014. Hypothalamus-Adipose Tissue Crosstalk: Neuropeptide Y and the Regulation of Energy Metabolism. Nutrition & Metabolism. 11:27.
  • Li, X, J Luo, A Pon Velayutham, W Zhang, E Gilbert, M Cline, R McMillan, M Hulver, H Alkhalidy, W Zhen, H Zhang, D Liu. 2014. Dietary supplementation of Chinese ginseng prevents obesity and metabolic syndrome in high-fat diet-fed mice. Journal of Medicinal Food. 17:1287-1297.
  • Ogino, M, A Okumura, MS Khan, MA Cline, T Tachibana. 2014. Comparison of brain urocortin-3 and corticotrophin-releasing factor for physiological responses in chicks. Physiology and Behavior. 125:57-61.
  • Sumners, LH, W Zhang, X Zhao, CF Honaker, S Zhang, MA Cline, PB Siegel, ER Gilbert. 2014. Chickens from lines artificially selected for juvenile low and high body weight differ in glucose homeostasis and pancreas physiology. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 172:57-65.
  • Zhang, S, MW Hulver, RP McMillan, MA Cline, ER Gilbert. 2014. The pivotal role of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases in metabolic flexibility. Nutrition & Metabolism. 11:10-18.
  • Zhang, S, R McMillan, M Hulver, PB Siegel, LH Sumners, W Zhang, MA Cline, ER Gilbert. 2014. Chickens from lines selected for high and low body weight show differences in fatty acid oxidation efficiency and metabolic flexibility in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissue. International Journal of Obesity. Epub before print.
  • Zhao, X-L, LH Sumners, ER Gilbert, PB Siegel, W Zhang, MA Cline. 2014. Delayed feeding after hatch caused compensatory increases in blood glucose concentrations in fed chicks from low but not high body weight lines. Poultry Science 93:617-624.
  • Webster, R, B Newmyer, M Furuse, ER Gilbert, MA Cline. 2013. The orexigenic effect of kyotorphin in chicks involves hypothalamus and brainstem activity and opioid receptors. Neuropeptides. 12:00112-6
  • Hagen, CJ, BA Newmyer, RI Webster, ER Gilbert, PB Siegel, T Tachibana, MA Cline.  2013.  Stimulation of food intake after central galanin is associated with arcuate nucleus activation and does not differ between genetically selected low and high body weight lines of chickens.  Neuropeptides 47: 281-285.
  • Tachibana T, K Matsuda, M Kawamura, H Ueda, MS Khan, MA Cline. 2013. Feeding-suppressive mechanism of sulfated cholecystokinin (26-33) in chicks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 161:372-8.
  • Khan MS, MA Cline, T Aramaki, H Ueda and T Tachibana. 2013. Feeding response following central administration of chicken vasoactive intestinal peptide in chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 184:1-6.
  • Zhang, W, LH Sumners, PB Siegel, MA Cline, ER Gilbert. 2013. Appetite-associated factor and glucose transporter mRNA quantities in various tissues after insulin injection in chickens selected for either low or high body weight. Physiological Genomics. 45:1084-94.
  • Masunari K, MS Khan, MA Cline, T Tachibana. 2013. Central administration of mesotocin inhibits feeding behavior in chicks. Regulatory Peptides. 187:1-5.
  • Zhang, W, MA Cline, D Liu, ER Gilbert. 2013. Knockdown of ZBED6 is not associated with changes in murine preadipocyte proliferation or differentiation. Adipocyte. 2:251-5.
  • Newmyer, BA, W Nandar, RI Webster, EI. Gilbert, PB Siegel, MA Cline.  2013.  Neuropeptide Y is associated with changes in appetite-associated hypothalamic nuclei but not food intake in a hypophagic avian model. Behavioural Brain Research. 236:327-331.
  • Cline, MA, M. Furuse. 2012.  Neuropeptide regulation of food intake in chicks. In:Food Intake:Regulation, Assessing and Controlling" JL Morrison, Ed. ISBN:978-1-61324-183-7.  
  • Newmyer, BA, MA Cline. 2011. Neuropeptide AF is associated with short-term reduced food intake in rats. Behavioural Brain Research. 219:351-353.  
  • Smith, ML, BP Prall, PB Siegel, MA Cline. 2011. The threshold of insulin-induced hypophagia is lower in chicks selected for low rather than high juvenile body weight. Behavioural Brain Research. 216:719-722.
  • Katayama, S, K Shigemi, MA Cline, M Furuse. 2011. Clorgyline Inhibits Orexin-A-Induced Arousal in Layer-Type Chicks. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. 73:471-474. 
  • Tachibana T, MA Cline, MSI Kham, H Ueda, K Hiramatsu. 2011. Feeding responses to central administration of several somatostatin analogs in chicks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 158:47-51.
  • Tachibana T, K Matsuda, H Sawa, A. Mikami, H. Ueda, MA Cline. 2011. Differential thresholds of neuromedins B-, C-, and bombesin-induced anorexia and crop-emptying rate in chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 169:144-150. 
  • Cline, MA, R Siders, BA Newymer, ML Smith, and PB Siegel. 2010. Both calcitonin and calcitonin gene-related peptides' thresholds of hypophagia are considerably lower in chicks selected for high rather than low juvenile body weight. Physiology and Behavior. 101:254-259.
  • Newymer, BA, PB Siegel, MA Cline. 2010. Neuropeptide AF differentially affects anorexia in lines of chickens selected for high or low body weight. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 22:593-598. 
  • Cline, MA, SA Cofield, T Tachibana. 2010. Central litorin injection is associated with primary anorexigenic effects that coincide with activation of the magnocellular division of the paraventricular nucleus. Neuropeptides. 44:247-252.
  • Cline, MA, W, Nandar, C, Bowden, W, Calchary, M, Smith, B Prall, B Newmyer, JO Rogers, PB Siegel. 2010. The threshold of amylin-induced anorexia is lower in chicks selected for low compared to high juvenile body weight. Behavioural Brain Research. 208:650-654. 
  • Katayama S, K Shigemi, MA Cline, M. Furuse. 2010. Intracerebroventricular injection of orexin-A stimulates monoamine metabolism but not HPA axis in neonatal chicks. Neuroscience letters. 484:157-161.
  • Tachibana T, K Matsuda, SI Khan, H Ueda, MA Cline. 2010. Feeding and drinking response following central administration of neuromedin S in chicks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 157:63-67. 
  • Katayama, S, K Hamasu, Shigemi, MA Cline, M. Furuse, 2010. Intracerebroventricular injection of orexin-A, but not orexin-B, induces arousal of layer-type neonatal chicks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 157:132-135.
  • Tachibana, T, K Matsuda, SI Khan, H Ueda, MA Cline. 2010. Feeding and drinking response following central administrations of bombesin-like peptides in chicks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 156: 394-399. 
  • Tachibana, T, MS Khan, K Matsuda, H Ueda, MA Cline. 2010. Central administration of substance P inhibits feeding behavior in chicks. Hormones and Behavior. 57: 203-208.
  • Smith, ML, NA Kohart, BA Newmyer, MA Cline. 2009. Gamma(2)-melanocyte stimulating hormone decreases food intake in chicks. Neuroscience Letters. 465:210-213. 
  • Cline, MA, JE Layne, WA Calchary, RS Sheehy, T Tachibana, M Furuse. 2009. LPLRFamide causes anorexigenic effects in broiler chicks and bobwhite quail. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 165:315-320.
  • Cline, MA, B Newymer, ML Smith. 2009. The anorectic effect of neuropeptide AF is associated with satiety-related hypothalamic nuclei. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 21:595-601. 
  • Newymer, BA, MA Cline. 2009. Neuropeptide SF is associated with reduced food intake in chicks. Behavioural Brain Research. 205: 311-314.
  • Cline, MA, B Prall, JO Rogers, T Tachibana. 2009. Satiety induced by central stresscopin is mediated by corticotrophin-releasing factor receptors and hypothalamic changes in chick. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 92:663-639. 
  • Tachibana, T, MA Cline, K Sugahara, H Ueda, K Hiramatsu. 2009. Central administration of somatostatin stimulates feeding behavior in chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 161:354-349.
  • Tachibana, T, K Sugahara, H Ueda, MA Cline. 2009. Role of adrenergic alpha-2-receptors on feeding behavior in layer-type chicks. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 161:407-411. 
  • Cline, MA, L Silwa. 2009. Neuropeptide VF-associated satiety involves mu and kappa but not delta subtypes of opioid receptors in chicks. Neuroscience Letters. 455:195-198.
  • Layne, JL, KE Hunt, T True, RS Gill, RE Combos, MA Cline. 2009. Central calcitonin exerts anoretic effects via the hypothalamus in chicks. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 92:433-438. 
  • Cline, MA, A Kuo, ML Smith, W Nandar, BC Prall, PB Siegel, D.M. Denbow. 2009. Differential food intake responses to central corticotrophin releasing factor in lines of chickens divergently selected for low or high body weight. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 152:130-134.
  • Cline, MA, W Calchary, W Nandar. 2009. Effect of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) on avian appetite-related processess. Behavioural Brain Research. 196: 242-247. 
  • Cline, MA, D Mathews. 2009. Anoretic effects of neuropeptide FF are mediated via central mu and kappa subtypes of opioid receptors and receptor ligands. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 159:125-129.
  • Prall, B, MA Cline. 2008. Anorexigenic effects of central neuropeptide K are associated with hypothalamic changes in juvenile Gallus gallus. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 159:130-135. 
  • Cline, MA, W Nandar, C. Bowden, PP Hein, MD Denbow, PB Siegel. 2008. Differential feeding responses to central alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone in genetically low and high body weight selected lines of chickens. Life Sciences. 83: 208-231.
  • Cline MA, CN Bowden, WA Calchary, JE Layne. 2008. Short-term anorexigenic effects of central neuropeptide VF are associated with hypothalamic changes in chicks. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 20:971-977. 
  • Cline MA, BC Prall, ML Smith, WA Calchary, PB Siegel. 2008. Differential appetite-related responses to central neuropeptide S in lines of chickens divergently selected for low or high body weight. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 20:904-908.
  • Nandar, W, J Milligan, MA Cline. 2008. Mechanisms of xenin‐induced anorectic response in chicks (Gallus gallus). General and Comparative Endocrinology. 157:58-62. 
  • Cline MA, D Fouse, BC Prall. 2008. Central and peripheral alytesin cause short-term anorexigenic effects in neonatal chicks. Neuropeptides. 42:283-291.
  • Cline, MA, CN Bowden, W. Nandar, JO Rogers. 2008. Central oxyntomodulin causes anorexigenic effects associated with the hypothalamus and alimentary canal in chicks (Gallus gallus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 149:405-410.
  • Cline MA, W Nandar, ML Smith, BH Pittman, M Kelly, JO Rogers. 2008. Amylin causes anorexigenic effects via the hypothalamus and brain stem in chicks. Regulatory Peptides. 146:140-146. 
  • Smith ML, B. Prall, W Nandar, MA Cline. 2008 Beta-melanocyte stimulating hormone potently reduces appetite via the hypothalamus in chicks. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 20:220-226.
  • Cline MA, W Nandar, B Prall, C Bowden, DM Denbow. 2008. Central visfatin causes orexigenic effects in chicks. Behavioural Brain Research. 186:293-297. 
  • Cline MA, W Nandar, JO Rogers. 2007. Central neuropeptide FF reduces feed consumption and affects hypothalamic chemistry in chicks. Neuropeptides. 41:433-439.
  • Cline MA, DC Godlove, W Nandar, CN Bowden, BC Prall. 2007. Anorexigenic effects of central neuropeptide S involve the hypothalamus in chicks (Gallus gallus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology.148:657-663. 
  • Cline MA, ML Smith. 2007. Central alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone attenuates behavioral effects of neuropeptide Y in chicks. Physiology and Behavior. 91:588-592.  
  • Cline MA, W Nandar, JO Rogers. 2007. Xenin reduces feed intake by activating the ventromedial hypothalamus and influences gastrointestinal transit rate in chicks. Behavioural Brain Research. 179:28-32.
  • Kuo AY, MA Cline, E Werner, PB Siegel and DM Denbow. 2005. Leptin effects on food and water intake in lines of chickens selected for high or low body weight. Physiology and Behavior. 84:459-64.
  • Cline MA, JN Ralston, RC Seals, GS Lewis. 2001. Intervals from norgestomet withdrawal and injection of equine chorionic gonadotropin or P.G. 600 to estrus and ovulation in ewes. Journal of Animal Science. 79:589-94.