We are investigating various aspects of the molecular and cellular basis for somatosensation. These studies have included further investigation of itch signaling, examination of the primary neurons involved in detection of thermal stimulation, and determination of several molecular characteristics of mechanosensation. Our studies have used a variety of techniques aimed at determining the cellular and the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. We are using optogenetics and chemogenetics to precisely define neuronal involvement and the location of these units in sensory pathways. Using mutant mice lacking genes in specific tissues has allowed us to pinpoint and validate the contribution of signaling components. Pharmacological characterization and selective cellular ablation has further allowed us to explore the processes taking place in these pathways. Lastly, we have been using cell-sorting of genetically labeled neurons coupled with NextGen sequencing to search for novel molecules required for the detection, signaling, and transmission of somatosensory stimuli. Our studies reveal that somatosensory discrimination is achieved at the periphery by sensory neurons which detect specific stimuli and transmit signals to dedicated signaling pathways.

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Dental & Craniofacial Research
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Huang, Jing; Polgár, Erika; Solinski, Hans Jürgen et al. (2018) Circuit dissection of the role of somatostatin in itch and pain. Nat Neurosci 21:707-716
Szczot, Marcin; Pogorzala, Leah A; Solinski, Hans Jürgen et al. (2017) Cell-Type-Specific Splicing of Piezo2 Regulates Mechanotransduction. Cell Rep 21:2760-2771
Pandey, Mritunjay; Zhang, Jian-Hua; Mishra, Santosh K et al. (2017) A central role for R7bp in the regulation of itch sensation. Pain 158:931-944
Ran, Chen; Hoon, Mark A; Chen, Xiaoke (2016) The coding of cutaneous temperature in the spinal cord. Nat Neurosci 19:1201-9
Hoon, Mark A (2015) Molecular dissection of itch. Curr Opin Neurobiol 34:61-6
Mishra, Santosh K; Hoon, Mark A (2015) Transmission of pruriceptive signals. Handb Exp Pharmacol 226:151-62
Goswami, Samridhi C; Mishra, Santosh K; Maric, Dragan et al. (2014) Molecular signatures of mouse TRPV1-lineage neurons revealed by RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis. J Pain 15:1338-1359
Tränkner, Dimitri; Hahne, Nadeau; Sugino, Ken et al. (2014) Population of sensory neurons essential for asthmatic hyperreactivity of inflamed airways. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:11515-20
Bautista, Diana M; Wilson, Sarah R; Hoon, Mark A (2014) Why we scratch an itch: the molecules, cells and circuits of itch. Nat Neurosci 17:175-82
Goswami, Samridhi C; Thierry-Mieg, Danielle; Thierry-Mieg, Jean et al. (2014) Itch-associated peptides: RNA-Seq and bioinformatic analysis of natriuretic precursor peptide B and gastrin releasing peptide in dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia, and the spinal cord. Mol Pain 10:44

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