Yan-Gang Sun

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Itching, or pruritus, is defined as an unpleasant cutaneous sensation that serves as a physiological self-protective mechanism to prevent the body from being hurt by harmful external agents. Chronic itch represents a significant clinical problem resulting from renal diseases and liver diseases, as well as several serious skin diseases such as atopic(More)
Itch and pain are two distinct sensations. Although our previous study suggested that gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) is an itch-specific gene in the spinal cord, a long-standing question of whether there are separate neuronal pathways for itch and pain remains unsettled. We selectively ablated lamina I neurons expressing GRPR in the spinal cord(More)
Spinal opioid-induced itch, a prevalent side effect of pain management, has been proposed to result from pain inhibition. We now report that the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) isoform MOR1D is essential for morphine-induced scratching (MIS), whereas the isoform MOR1 is required only for morphine-induced analgesia (MIA). MOR1D heterodimerizes with gastrin-releasing(More)
Opioids remain the most effective analgesics despite their potential adverse effects such as tolerance and addiction. Mechanisms underlying these opiate-mediated processes remain the subject of much debate. Here we describe opioid-induced behaviors of Lmx1b conditional knockout mice (Lmx1bf/f/p), which lack central serotonergic neurons, and we report that(More)
A large body of literature has implicated serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] in descending modulation of nociceptive transmission. Here, we have studied the pain behavior of Lmx1b conditional knock-out mice (Lmx1b(f/f/p)), which lack 5-HT neurons in the CNS. Lmx1b(f/f/p) mutant mice showed normal thermal and visceral pain responses but were less(More)
Cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain and the brainstem form extensive projections to a number of thalamic nuclei. Activation of cholinergic afferents during distinct behavioral states can regulate neuronal firing, transmitter release at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses, and synchrony in thalamic networks, thereby controlling the flow of sensory(More)
Batai virus (BATV) is a member of the Orthobunyavirus genus of the family Bunyaviridae, and a vector-borne pathogen. Genomic variations of BATV exist in different regions of the world, due to genetic reassortment. Whole-genome sequencing of any isolate is necessary for a phylogenetic analysis. In 1998, a BATV strain was isolated from an Anopheles(More)
GABAergic neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) form powerful inhibitory connections with several dorsal thalamic nuclei, thereby controlling attention, sensory processing, and synchronous oscillations in the thalamocortical system. TRN neurons are interconnected by a network of GABAergic synapses, but their properties and their role in shaping(More)
Glutamatergic synapses of layer 6 corticothalamic (CT) neurons form a major excitatory input onto thalamic relay cells, allowing neocortex to continuously control sensory information processing in thalamic circuits. CT synapses display both short- and long-term forms of use-dependent synaptic enhancement, mediated at least in part by increases in the(More)
UNLABELLED Central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-HT) modulates somatosensory transduction, but how it achieves sensory modality-specific modulation remains unclear. Here we report that enhancing serotonergic tone via administration of 5-HT potentiates itch sensation, whereas mice lacking 5-HT or serotonergic neurons in the brainstem exhibit markedly(More)