Jordan G. McCall, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Neurosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-446-8161

  • STLCOP, 2 Pharmacy Place, Academic and Research Building, 6th Floor


  • Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying emotional dysregulation in the contexts of stress, chronic pain, and addiction

Research Abstract:

The initial challenge that my laboratory will tackle will be to understand the role of central noradrenergic systems in the transition to chronic pain. The noradrenergic system is one particular central nervous system target that holds promise for interventions in both chronic pain and its resulting emotional dysregulation. We have known for decades that LC-NE system is an important endogenous analgesia system. However, despite clear clinical evidence that drugs preventing the reuptake of norepinephrine can be effective in treating chronic pain and that activation of spinal α2 adrenergic receptors is antinociceptive, we have very little basic understanding of how this endogenous analgesia system is engaged, maintained, and whether it contributes to the psychological consequences of chronic pain. Furthermore, the LC-NE system is particularly responsive to stress. Therefore, the time point of intervention and/or the subject/patient’s personal history is likely critical to how they respond to pharmacological treatment. Understanding more clearly how activity of this system is altered following stress and pain will provide clarity as to how compounds are therapeutically effective. My lab will directly test these questions at the cellular and systems levels using a variety of tools spanning from synaptic physiology to in vivo imaging and
behavior. These questions are particularly important because drugs that target the noradrenergic system are only efficacious in relieving chronic pain in a subset of patients. In the era of patientprecision medicine, understanding the underlying the neurobiology responsible for this subset of positive responders could help guide more effective treatments and better prescription practices to target the psychiatric sequelae resulting chronic pain and avoid opioid abuse/misuse liabilities.

Selected Publications:

J.Y. Sim, Haney, M.P., Park, S.I., J.G. McCall, J.W. Jeong. Microfluidic neural probes: In vivo tools for
advancing neuroscience, Lab on a Chip, 17: 1406-1435 (2017). doi: 10.1039/C7LC00103G. Review.

J.G. McCall, R. Qazi, G. Shin, S. Li, M.H. Ikram, K.-I. Jang, Y. Liu, R. Al-Hasani, J.W. Jeong, J.A. Rogers,
M.R. Bruchas. Preparation and implementation of wireless optofluidic neural probe systems for in vivo
pharmacology and optogenetics, Nature Protocols, 12(2):219-237 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.155.

M.V. Valtcheva*, B.A. Copits*, S. Davidson, T.D. Sheahan, M.Y. Pullen, J.G. McCall, K. Dikranian, R.W.
Gereau IV. Human sensory neurons: surgical extraction of dorsal root ganglia and preparation of primary
cultures for functional studies. Nature Protocols (10):1877-88 (2016). doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.111.

E.R. Siuda, J.G. McCall, R. Al-Hasani, G. Shin, S.l. Park, M.J. Schmidt, S.L. Anderson, W.J. Planer, J.A.
Rogers, M.R. Bruchas. Optodynamic simulation of β-adrenergic receptor signaling, Nature
Communications 6:8480 (2015). doi: 10.1038/ncomms9480.

R. Al-Hasani*, J.G. McCall*(co-first author), G. P. Schmitz, G. Shin, J.M. Bernardi, D.Y. Hong, N.A.
Crowley, M.J. Krashes, B.B. Lowell, T.L. Kash J.A. Rogers, M.R. Bruchas. Distinct subpopulations of
nucleus accumbens dynorphin neurons drive aversion or reward, Neuron 87, 1063-77 (2015). doi:

S.E. Schindler, J.G. McCall, P. Yang, K.L. Hyrc, M. Li, C.L. Tucker, J.M. Lee, M.R. Bruchas, M.I. Diamond.
Photo-activatable Cre recombinase regulates gene expression in vivo, Scientific Reports. 5: 13627 (2015).
doi: 10.1038/srep13627.

J.G. McCall, R. Al-Hasani, E.R. Siuda, D.Y. Hong, A.J. Norris, C.P.Ford, M.R. Bruchas. CRH engagement
of the locus coeruleus noradrenergic system mediates stress-induced anxiety, Neuron. 87, 605-620 (2015).
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.07.002. Commentary in Neuron.

Last Updated: 8/2/2017 3:39:56 PM

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