Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

mTOR, a new target for opioid-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia.

The aim of this project is to investigate whether and how mTOR, an enzyme controls the translation of most proteins, in spinal cord dorsal horn neurons participates in the induction and maintenance of opioid-induced tolerance and hyperalgesia. A novel mu opioid receptor-triggered PI3K/Akt-/mTOR pathway in dorsal horn neurons is to be identified in promoting morphine-induced spinal protein translation changes and associated morphine tolerance and hyperalgesia.

Supported by: NIH R01 DA033390, PI: Tao, YX

Notable Publications:

Epigenetic mechanisms of neuropathic pain: role of native Kv1.2 antisense RNA.

The goal of this work is to identify a new endogenous long non-coding RNA, named as Kv1.2 antisense RNA, for a voltage-dependent potassium channel mRNA, Kcna2, in the first-order sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglion. The project will evaluate whether this antisense RNA is involved in neuropathic pain genesis.

Supported by: NIH R01 NS 072206. PI: Tao YX

Notable Publications:

Role of rostromedial tegmental nucleus in alcohol addiction.

The goal of this project has been to explore the role of rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) during alcohol consumptive behavior, with an emphasis on the GABAergic regulation of dopamine signaling in the ventral tegmental area. The aversive effects of alcoholism are a serious public health concern, and insight with respect to the RMTg, which has recently been identified as relevant in this context, could inform treatment strategies.

Supported by: NIH 1R01AA022292-01A1. PI: Ye JH

Notable Publications:

Mechanisms of regulation of ethanol intake by lateral habenula.

The purpose of this study has been to examine the role of the lateral habenula (LHb) neurons in alcohol intake during alcohol withdrawal using a rat model. The project is motivated by a hypothesis that dis-function of LHb neurons contributes to excessive drinking via inhibiting dopamine transmission in the ventral tegmental area.

Supported by NIH, NIAAA 1R01AA021657-01A1. PI: Ye JH

Notable Publications:

Multimodal Management of Acute Pain: The role of opioid adjuvants

The major therapeutic objective underlying the use of opioid adjuvants is to achieve a balance between increasing analgesic efficacy while minimizing adverse effects. Currently our group is studying the effects of perioperative administration of IV NSADs, IV Acetaminophen, as well as other non-opioid analgesics on stress responses and postoperative recovery. Our results suggest that NSAIDs modulates the stress and inflammatory responses as demonstrated by a decrease in the level of catecholamines, cortisol, and cytokines. In addition, all of the adjuvant therapies improve a quality of recovery and early postoperative outcomes.

Supported by Cumberland Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Notable Publications: