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.
Dr. Xin Zhang received the Keystone Symposium J8 scholarship for the February 2020 meeting Somatosensation: From Detection to Perception in Keystone, Colorado. The scholarship is generously supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Grant #1R13NS113620-01.
Dr. Xin Zhang, won first place in the basic sciences category for his abstract titled, “Activation of Peripheral β2 and β3ARs Leads to Increased Nociceptor Activity” at the 26th Annual Duke Anesthesiology Academic Evening held on May 29, 2018.
Dr. Xin Zhang at the APS Meeting in Anaheim.
Dr. Xin Zhang receiving the Best Abstract Award for his poster titled “Activation of Peripheral β2 and β3ARs Leads to Increased Nociceptor Activity” at the 2018 Pain & Genetics SIG of the 37th annual APS meeting.
Dr. Xin Zhang has been nominated by the 2018 Pain & Genetics Shared Interest Group (SIG) of APS for the ‘Best Abstract Award’. He will receive the award March 5, 2018, following a short presentation of his poster, “Activation of Peripheral β2 and β3ARs Leads to Increased Nociceptor Activity.”
Dr. Xin Zhang received the 2018 APS Young Investigator Travel Support Program award. Dr. Zhang will travel to, and present a poster at, the 37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, held March 4 -6, 2018 in Anaheim, CA. APS gratefully acknowledges the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) for support of the Young Investigator Travel Award program. View Abstract
Dr. Zhang received the outstanding poster 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.
Dr. Xin Zhang received the 2017 APS Young Investigator Travel Support Program award. 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.
Low Catechol-O-Methyltransferase and Stress Potentiate Functional Pain and Depressive Behavior, Especially in Female Mice.
Zhang X, Kanter K, Chen J, Kim S, Wang Y, Adeyemi C, O’Buckley SC, Nackley AG.
Pain. 2020 Feb;161(2):446-458.
Acupuncture Treatment Reverses Chronic Pain and Neuroinflammation in a Mouse Model of Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions.
Kim S, Zhang X, O’Buckley SC, Cooter M, Park JJ, Nackley AG.
J Pain. 2018 Dec;19(12):1384.e1-1384.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.05.013. Epub 2018 Jul 4.
miRNA-711 Binds and Activates TRPA1 Extracellularly to Evoke Acute and Chronic Pruritus.
Han Q, Liu D, Convertino M, Wang Z, Jiang C, Kim YH, Luo X, Zhang X, Nackley A, Dokholyan NV, Ji RR.
Neuron. 2018 Aug 8;99(3):449-463.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.06.039. Epub 2018 Jul 19.
Sustained Stimulation of β2- and β3-adrenergic Receptors Leads to Persistent Functional Pain and Neuroinflammation.
Zhang X, Hartung JE, Bortsov A, Kim S, O’Buckley SC, Kozlowski J, Nackley AG.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2018 Oct;73:520-532. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2018.06.017. Epub 2018 Jun 20.
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. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S127157. eCollection 2017.