Xin Zhang, MD, PhD
Abnormalities in pathways that regulate catecholamine bioavailability can results in the development and maintenance of persistent pain. In the past several years, we developed a rodent model of low COMT-dependent pain to mimic this kind of idiopathic pain and investigate the detail genetic and pharmacologic alterations. Our recent study reveals that COMT-dependent increases in IL-6 are mediated by β2– and β3AR3 located on adipocytes, which surround peripheral nociceptor and sympathetic nerve termianls and regulate systemic and neural inflammation. Further, sustained activation of β2– and β3ARs leads to low plasma levels of miR-133a, a microRNA expression in adipocytes that negatively regulates cytokines and MAPKs. Therefore, using moclecular, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, I investigate the contribution of adipocyte-specific β2-, β3ARs and miR-133a to COMT-dependent pain, cytokine production, MAPK activation, and nociceptor activation in the absence or presence of stress.
Outstanding Poster Award awarded to Dr. Xin Zhang
Dr. Zhang received the award for his poster entitled, “Activation of Peripheral β2 and β3ARs Leads to Increased Nociceptor Activity” at the Translational Pain Research Symposium, Duke Kunshan University Kunshan, China, June 21-23, 2017.
Summary: Dr. Zhang showed that i) COMT inhibition leads to pain sensitivity, in line with increased ERK phosphorylation in DRG neurons and strengthened nociceptor activity in response to noxious stimuli, ii) COMT-dependent increases in pain sensitivity and nociceptor activity are driven by peripheral β2- and β3ARs, and iii) treatments targeted towards peripheral β2- and β3ARs and downstream effectors may prove useful in the management of functional pain syndromes.
2017 APS Young Investigator Travel Support Program awarded to Dr. Xin Zhang
Dr. Zhang will travel to, and present a poster at, the 36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, held May 17-20, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. APS gratefully acknowledges the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) for support of the Young Investigator Travel Award program.
Ultrasound-guided alcohol neurolysis and radiofrequency ablation of painful stump neuroma: effective treatments for post-amputation pain.
Zhang X, Xu Y, Zhou J, Pu S, Lv Y, Chen Y, Du D
J Pain Res. 2017 Feb 3;10:295-302. eCollection 2017.
PubMed PMID: 28223839.