Qin Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Anesthesiology
Neuroscience

Neurosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 3147475474

  • 314 747-5582

  • 425 S EUCLID AVE CSRB RM 6652 / CB

  • qinliu@wustl.edu

  • http://csi.wustl.edu/faculty/liu_qin

  • somatosensation, itch, primary sensory neurons, G protein-coupled receptors

  • The biology of itch

Research Abstract:

The research in my lab focuses on the biology of itch. The initial detection of itch-inducing stimuli (pruritogens) is performed by small-diameter sensory neurons in the trigeminal ganglion or dorsal root ganglia (DRG). My previous work identified several novel itch receptors that are expressed selectively in in the DRG, and mediate nonhistaminergic itch by interacting with various pruritogens. My research interests over the next few years will include understanding how primary sensory neurons detect itch-inducing stimuli, how itch signals are encoded and transmitted in the nervous system, and the molecular and neural mechanisms of chronic itch conditions.

Selected Publications:

Representative publications:

1. Cui L, Guo J, Cranfill SL, Gautam M, Bhattarai J, Olson W, Beattie K, Challis RC, Wu Q, Song X, Raabe T, Gradinaru V, Ma M, Liu Q*, Luo W* (* co-corresponding). Glutamate in primary afferents is required for itch transmission. Neuron. 2022 Mar 2;110(5):809-823.


2. Li F, Jiang H, Shen X, Yang W, Guo C, Wang Z, Xiao M, Cui L, Luo W, Kim BS, Chen Z, Huang AJW, Liu Q. Sneezing reflex is mediated by a peptidergic pathway from nose to brainstem. Cell. 2021 Jul 8;184(14):3762-3773.


3. Wang F, Trier AM, Li F, Kim S, Chen Z, Chai JN, Mack MR, Morrison SA, Hamilton JD, Baek J, Yang TB, Ver Heul AM, Xu AZ, Xie Z, Dong X, Kubo M, Hu H, Hsieh CS, Dong X, Liu Q, Margolis DJ, Ardeleanu M, Miller MJ, Kim BS. A basophil-neuronal axis promotes itch. Cell. 2021 Jan 21;184(2):422-440.


4. Guo CJ, Mack MR, Oetjen LK, Trier AM, Council ML, Pavel AB, Guttman-Yassky E, Kim BS, Liu Q. Kallikrein 7 Promotes Atopic Dermatitis-Associated Itch Independently of Skin Inflammation. J Invest Dermatol. 2020 Jun;140(6):1244-1252.e4.


5. Li F, Yang W, Jiang H, Guo C, Huang AJW, Hu H, Liu Q. TRPV1 activity and substance P release are required for corneal cold nociception. Nat Commun. 2019 Dec 12;10(1):5678.


6. Espino SS, Robinson SD, Safavi-Hemami H, Gajewiak J, Yang W, Olivera BM, Liu Q. Conopeptides promote itch through human itch receptor hMgprX1. Toxicon. 2018 Nov;154:28-34


7. Huang CC, Yang W, Guo C, Jiang H, Li F, Xiao M, Davidson S, Yu G, Duan B, Huang T, Huang AJW, Liu Q. Anatomical and functional dichotomy of ocular itch and pain. Nature medicine. 2018


8. Liu Q, Tang Z, Surdenikova L, et al. Sensory neuron-specific GPCRs Mrgprs are itch receptors mediating chloroquine-induced pruritus. Cell, 2009: 139: 1353-65.PMCID: PMC2989405


9. Liu Q, Vrontou S, Rice FL, et al. Molecular genetic visualization of a rare subset of unmyelinated sensory neurons that may detect gentle touch. Nature Neuroscience 2007: 10: 946-8.

Last Updated: 4/20/2022 11:11:35 AM

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