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  8. John Bowyer
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

John Bowyer Ph.D.

Pharmacologist — Division of Neurotoxicology

John Bowyer
John Bowyer, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7391

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About  |  Publications  |  Lab Members


Dr. John Bowyer received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California at Davis in 1982. There he gained a thorough background and understanding in neuropharmacology, toxicology, epilepsy, classical electrophysiology, and the analysis of tissue levels of drugs and toxicants. This research contributed to mechanistic understanding of the development and expression of electrically kindled seizures, a model of epilepsy. He received further training during his postdoctoral tenure at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in neurochemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology; conducting research involving the presynaptic mechanisms of dopamine release by amphetamines and dopamine D2 receptors. When he started with NCTR in 1989, he initially set up methods for the in vitro testing of neurotoxicants and drugs of abuse that alter the presynaptic regulation of dopamine release. He has rceived the FDA “Best Young Scientist of the Year” award and the FDA/NCTR “Award for collaborative research which lead to the discovery of central nervous system cell death following amphetamine and substituted amphetamine exposure.” He serves as a reviewer for several neurobiology and neurotoxicology journals and as a scientific reviewer for both the Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) and the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development service in the Office of Research and Development within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. During his tenure at the NCTR, he has published 90 articles, with 68 of those in peer-reviewed journals. 

Research Interests

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Bowyer’s research interests have focused on:

  • molecular biology/toxicology aspects of neurotoxic insults as they relate to brain vasculature; specifically, the adverse effects of amphetamines on the brain vasculature, meninges and the choroid plexus.
  • interaction of the central nervous system (CNS) immune system microglia and brain vasculature
  • how toxic insults affect the peripheral immune-system function and subsequently, brain vasculature and neuroinflammation. 

Most recently, Dr. Bowyer’s lab has been looking at mechanisms to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to test the neurotoxicity of drugs that have minimal access to the CNS. This will enable the determination of whether a drug that normally cannot access the CNS may become neurotoxic in cases where the individual may have a compromised BBB. Dr. Bowyer has more than 20 years of experience in molecular biological techniques relating to transcriptomics, neurochemistry, and immunohistological and histochemical techniques. Additionally, he has over 30 years of experience in animal models of epilepsy and toxic insults that trigger seizure activity resulting in neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity.  

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Association for the Advancement of Science
2013 – Present

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
2012 – Present

Society for Neuroscience
2012 – Present

Society for Toxicology
2012 – 2014, 2016


Selected Publications

Vascular-Directed Responses of Microglia Produced by Methamphetamine Exposure: Indirect Evidence that Microglia are Involved in Vascular Repair?
Bowyer J.F., Sarkar S., Tranter K.M., Hanig J.P., Miller D.B., and O'Callaghan J.P.

Evaluating the Stability of RNA-Seq Transcriptome Profiles and Drug-Induced Immune-Related Expression Changes in Whole Blood.
Bowyer J.F., Tranter K.M., Hanig J.P., Crabtree N.M., Schleimer R.P., and George N.I.
PLoS One. 2015 Jul, 10(7): e0133315. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133315. eCollection 2015.
Systemic Administration of Fluoro-Gold for the Histological Assessment of Vascular Structure, Integrity and Damage.
Bowyer J.F., Tranter K.M., Sarkar S., Raymick J., Hanig J.P., and Schmued L.C.
Curr Neurovasc Res. 2014 Feb, 11(1): 31-47.

Serum Myoglobin, but Not Lipopolysaccharides, is Predictive of AMPH-Induced Striatal Neurotoxicity.
Levi M.S., Patton R.E., Hanig J.P., Tranter K.M., George N.I., James L.P., Davis K.J., and Bowyer J.F.
Neurotoxicology. 2013 Jul, 37: 40-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2013.04.003.

Comparison of the Global Gene Expression of Choroid Plexus and Meninges and Associated Vasculature Under Control Conditions and After Pronounced Hyperthermia or Amphetamine Toxicity.
Bowyer J.F., Patterson T.A., Saini U.T., Hanig J.P., Thomas M., Camacho L., George N.I., and Chen J.J.
BMC Genomics. 2013 Mar, 14: 147. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-147.

A Comparison of Methylphenidate-, Amphetamine-, and Methamphetamine-Induced Hyperthermia and Neurotoxicity in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats During the Waking (Lights Off) Cycle.
Levi M.S., Divine B., Hanig J.P., Doerge D.R., Vanlandingham M.M., George N.I., Twaddle N.C., and Bowyer J.F.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2012 Mar, 34(2): 253-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2012.01.007.

Chronic Exposure to Corticosterone Enhances the Neuroinflammatory and Neurotoxic Responses to Methamphetamine.
Kelly K.A., Miller D.B., Bowyer J.F., and O'Callaghan J.P.
J Neurochem. 2012 Sep, 122(5): 995-1009. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07864.

Amphetamine and Environmentally Induced Hyperthermia Differentially Alter the Expression of Genes Regulating Vascular Tone and Angiogenesis in the Meninges and Associated Vasculature.
Thomas M., George N.I., Patterson T.A., and Bowyer J.F.
Synapse. 2009 Oct, 63(10): 881-94. doi: 10.1002/syn.20661.

The Effects of Subchronic Acrylamide Exposure on Gene Expression, Neurochemistry, Hormones, and Histopathology in the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid Axis of Male Fischer 344 Rats.
Bowyer J.F., Latendresse J.R., Delongchamp R.R., Muskhelishvili L., Warbritton A.R., Thomas M., Tareke E., McDaniel L.P., and Doerge D.R.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Jul; 230(2): 208-15. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2008.02.028.
Erratum in: Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Nov, 232(3): 498.

The mRNA Expression and Histological Integrity in Rat Forebrain Motor and Sensory Regions are Minimally Affected by Acrylamide Exposure Through Drinking Water.
Bowyer J.F., Latendresse J.R., Delongchamp R.R., Warbritton A.R., Thomas M., Divine B., and Doerge D.R.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 Nov, 240(3): 401-11. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2009.07.036.

A Threshold Neurotoxic Amphetamine Exposure Inhibits Parietal Cortex Expression of Synaptic Plasticity-Related Genes.
Bowyer J.F., Pogge A.R., Delongchamp R.R., O'Callaghan J.P., Patel K.M., Vrana K.E., and Freeman W.M.
Neuroscience. 2007 Jan, 144(1): 66-76.

High Doses of Methamphetamine that Cause Disruption of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Limbic Regions Produce Extensive Neuronal Degeneration in Mouse Hippocampus.
Bowyer J.F., and Ali S.
Synapse. 2006 Dec, 60(7): 521-32.

Fluoro-Ruby Labeling Prior to an Amphetamine Neurotoxic Insult Shows a Definitive Massive Loss of Dopaminergic Terminals and Axons in the Caudate-Putamen.
Bowyer J.F., and Schmued L.C.
Brain Res. 2006 Feb, 1075(1): 236-9.

Seizure Activity and Hyperthermia Potentiate the Increases in Dopamine and Serotonin Extracellular Levels in the Amygdala During Exposure to D-Amphetamine.
Tor-Agbidye J., Yamamoto B., and Bowyer J.F.
Toxicol Sci. 2001 Mar, 60(1): 103-11.

Neuronal Degeneration in Rat Forebrain Resulting from D-Amphetamine-Induced Convulsions is Dependent on Seizure Severity and Age.
Bowyer J.F., Peterson S.L., Rountree R.L., Tor-Agbidye J., and Wang G.J.
Brain Res. 1998 Oct, 809(1): 77-90.

Further Studies of the Role of Hyperthermia in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity.
Bowyer J.F., Davies D.L., Schmued L., Broening H.W., Newport G.D., Slikker W. Jr., and Holson R.R.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Mar, 268(3): 1571-80.

The Influence of Environmental Temperature on the Transient Effects of Methamphetamine on Dopamine Levels and Dopamine Release in Rat Striatum.
Bowyer J.F., Tank A.W., Newport G.D., Slikker W. Jr., Ali S.F., and Holson R.R.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1992 Feb, 260(2): 817-24.

K+ Channel and Adenylate Cyclase Involvement in Regulation of Ca2+-Evoked Release of [3H]Dopamine from Synaptosomes.
Bowyer J.F., and Weiner N.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1989 Feb, 248(2): 514-20.

Effects of Phencyclidine, Amphetamine and Related Compounds on Dopamine Release from and Uptake into Striatal Synaptosomes.
Bowyer J.F., Spuhler K.P., and Weiner N.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1984 Jun, 229(3): 671-80.

Ketamine-Induced Changes in Kindled Amygdaloid Seizures.
Bowyer J.F., Albertson T.E., Winters W.D., and Baselt R.C.
Neuropharmacology. 1983 Jul, 22(7): 887-94.

Phencyclidine Inhibition of the Rate of Development of Amygdaloid Kindled Seizures.
Bowyer J.F.
Exp Neurol. 1982 Jan, 75(1): 173-83.


Lab Members

Karen M. Tranter 
Laboratory Technician
(870) 543-7391


Contact Information
John Bowyer
(870) 543-7391
Technology & Discipline