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Séminaire - Jing Hu Spinal cord presynaptic modulation of chronic pain

Abstract :

Chronic pain may not be one of the leading causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, but it affects more people than these three diseases together, i.e. 20% of the adult European population.
It highly impairs patients’ mood, quality of life, activities of daily life and performance at work. Unfortunately the current treatments do not fully alleviate patients’ suffering and often elicit numerous side effects. In my talk, I will introduce the modern gate control theory of pain and present our recent findings.
How does presynaptic inhibition control pain signal processing under physiological conditions? How does its alteration after injury contribute to neuropathic or inflammatory pain symptoms, respectively? For example, after tissue injury, we found that presynaptic GABAergic inhibition is switched to excitation, leading to the activation of pain pathways by a gentle touch, a severe symptom of inflammatory pain called tactile allodynia.
I will discuss how these findings can help to develop more effective therapeutic strategies for chronic pain treatment.

Selected publications

Qi Y., Andolfi L., Frattini F., Mayer F., Lazzarino M., Hu J. (2015) Membrane stiffening by STOML3 facilitates mechanotransduction in sensory neurons. Nat Commun. Oct 07; doi: 10.1038/ncomms9512.

Chen J.T., Guo D., Campanelli D., Frattini F., Mayer F., Zhou L., Kuner R., Heppenstall P.A., Knipper M., Hu J. (2014) Presynaptic GABAergic inhibition regulated by BDNF contributes to neuropathic pain induction. Nat Commun. Oct 30;5:5331. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6331.

Chiang LY, Poole K, Oliveira BE, Duarte N, Sierra YA, Bruckner-Tuderman L, Koch M, Hu J,* Lewin GR. (2011) Laminin-332 coordinates mechanotransduction and growth cone bifurcation in sensory neurons. Nat Neurosci. Jul 3; 14(8):993-1000. * Co-corresponding author

Hu J,* Chiang LY, Koch M, Lewin GR. (2010) Evidence for a protein tether involved in somatic touch. EMBO J. Feb 17; 29(4):855-67. * Co-coresponding author

Park T.J., Lu Y., Jüttner R., Smith E.S.J., Hu J., Brand A., Wetzel C., Erdmann B., Heppenstall P.A., Laurito C.E., Wilson S.P., Lewin G.R. (2008)
Inflammatory Pain Insensitivity in the African Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glabor). PloS Biology Jan; 6(1):e13.

Wetzel C., Hu J., Riethmacher D., Benckendorff A., Harder L., Eilers A., Moshourab R., Kozlenkov A., Labuz D., Caspani O., Erdmann B., Machelska H., Heppenstall P.A., Lewin G.R. (2007)
A stomatin-domain protein essential for touch sensation in the mouse. Nature 445 (7124): 206-209.