Hongzhen Hu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Anesthesiology

Neurosciences Program
Immunology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314 747-4317

  • 314 362-8571

  • 8054

  • hhu24@wustl.edu

  • Understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which itch sensation is encoded in the skin focusing on interaction between the resident skin cells and the primary sensory neurons.

Research Abstract:

Takes a multidisciplinary approach using electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches in combination to molecular biology, genetics and behavioral methods to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pain and itch under physiological and pathological conditions focusing on the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expressed by epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous immune cells (dendritic cells, macrophages, and lymphocytes), and primary sensory neurons.

The long term goal of my research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which itch sensation is encoded in the skin focusing on interaction between the resident skin cells and the primary sensory neurons, which is a key driving force to produce peripheral sensitization. Identification of cutaneous cells and molecules that are critically involved in the pathogenesis of chronic pruritus will provide novel insights into the molecular and cellular basis of chronic itch, which is essential to the development of effective anti-pruritic drugs.

Selected Publications:

Hu X, Adebiyi MG, Luo J, Sun K, Le TT, Zhang Y, Wu H, Zhao S, Karmouty-Quintana H, Liu H, Huang A, Wen YE, Zaika OL, Mamenko M,Pochynyuk OM, Kellems RE, Eltzschig HK, Blackburn MR, Walters ET, Huang D, Hu H, Xia Y. Sustained Elevated Adenosine via ADORA2B Promotes Chronic Pain through Neuro-immune Interaction. Cell Rep. 2016 Jun 28;16(1):106-19. PMID: 27320922

Liu S, Feng J, Luo J, Yang P, Brett TJ, Hu H. Eact, a small molecule activator of TMEM16A, activates TRPV1 and elicits pain- and itch-related behaviours. Br J Pharmacol. 2016 Apr;173(7):1208-18. PMID: 26756551

Gu QD, Moss CR 2nd, Kettelhut KL, Gilbert CA, Hu H. Activation of TRPV4 Regulates Respiration through Indirect Activation of Bronchopulmonary Sensory Neurons. Front Physiol. 2016 Feb 29;7:65. PMID: 26973533

Zhou Y, Wong CO, Cho KJ, van der Hoeven D, Liang H, Thakur DP, Luo J, Babic M, Zinsmaier KE, Zhu MX, Hu H, Venkatachalam K, Hancock JF.Membrane potential modulates plasma membrane phospholipid dynamics and K-Ras signaling. Science. 2015 Aug 21;349(6250):873-6. PMID: 26293964

Luo J, Feng J, Liu S, Walters ET, Hu H (2015). Molecular and cellular mechanisms that initiates pain and itch. Cell and Mol Life Sci 72(17):3201-23. PMID: 25894692

Last Updated: 12/23/2016 10:21:29 AM

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