Dr. Caterina and his team focus on dissecting mechanisms that underlie acute and pathological pain sensation. One topic of study is the identification of mechanisms underlying pain in a diverse collection of rare hereditary skin conditions known as palmoplantar keratodermas. These conditions, characterized by epidermal thickening on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, exhibit variable prevalence of pain that can significantly impact quality of life. A second area of focus is on the role of RNA binding proteins as regulators of the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. A third effort involves defining the diversity of neuronal and non-neuronal cell types that contribute to the development and manifestation of neuropathic pain. Finally, the lab studies the biological functions of a group of heat-gated ion channel proteins of the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) family, particularly as they relate to pain. These projects involve a wide array of technological approaches that include behavioral assays, in vitro and in vivo imaging and electrophysiology, neuroanatomical studies, and molecular analysis of sensory neurons and skin.
Park U, Vastani N, Guan Y, Raja SN, Koltzenburg M, Caterina MJ. TRP vanilloid 2 knock-out mice are susceptible to perinatal lethality but display normal thermal and mechanical nociception. J Neurosci. 2011 PMID: 21832173.
Pang Z, Sakamoto T, Tiwari V, Kim YS, Yang F, Dong X, Güler AD, Guan Y, Caterina MJ. Selective keratinocyte stimulation is sufficient to evoke nociception in mice. Pain. 2015 PMID: 25790456.
Pan B, Byrnes K, Schwartz M, Hansen CD, Campbell CM, Krupiczojc M, Caterina MJ, Polydefkis M. Peripheral neuropathic changes in pachyonychia congenita. Pain. 2016 PMID: 27776012.
Weinberg RL, Coulombe PA, Polydefkis M, Caterina MJ. Pain mechanisms in hereditary palmoplantar keratodermas. Br J Dermatol. 2019 PMID: 30883689.
Wang L, Jiang X, Zheng Q, Jeon SM, Chen T, Liu Y, Kulaga H, Reed R, Dong X, Caterina MJ, Qu L. Neuronal FcγRI mediates acute and chronic joint pain. J Clin Invest. 2019 PMID: 31211699.