Christopher N. Honda, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Interests:

The skin and deep tissues comprise a vital interface between our bodies and our surroundings. The senses of touch and pain are especially critical in interactions with our environment. Our research interests are centered on functional and structural mechanisms underlying these senses, and there is a particular emphasis in our laboratory on neuronal mechanisms contributing to the sensory experience of pain.

We use a combination of anatomical, immunohistochemical, and electrophysiological techniques to establish basic relationships between neuronal structure, cytochemistry and function. We are applying these techniques to the study of individual sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Currently, our main research direction is the functional regulation of peripheral opioid receptors, and how these receptors contribute to peripheral analgesic systems.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Doolen S, Cook J, Riedl M, Kitto K, Kohsaka S, Honda CN, Fairbanks CA, Taylor BK, Vulchanova L. Complement 3a receptor in dorsal horn microglia mediates pronociceptive neuropeptide signaling. Glia. 2017 Dec;65(12):1976-1989.
  • Kashem SW, Riedl MS, Yao C, Honda CN, Vulchanova L, Kaplan DH. Nociceptive sensory fibers drive interleukin-23 production from CD301b+ dermal dendritic cells and drive protective cutaneous immunity. Immunity. 2015;43(3):515-526.
  • Brederson JD, Honda CN. Primary afferent neurons express functional delta opioid receptors in inflamed skin. Brain Res. 2015;1614:105-111.
  • Abdelhamid RE, Kovács KJ, Honda CN, Nunez MG, Larson AA. Resiniferatoxin (RTX) causes a uniquely protracted musculoskeletal hyperalgesia in mice by activation of TRPV1 receptors. J Pain. 2013;14(12):1629-41
  • Schuster DJ, Dykstra JA, Riedl MS, Kitto KF, Honda CN, McIvor RS, Fairbanks CA, Vulchanova L. Visualization of spinal afferent innervation in the mouse colon by AAV8-mediated GFP expression. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013;25(2):e89-100.
  • Davidson S, Zhang X, Khasabov SG, Moser HR, Honda CN, Simone DA, Giesler GJ Jr. Pruriceptive spinothalamic tract neurons: physiological properties and projection targets in the primate. J Neurophysiol. 2012;108(6):1711-1723.
  • Waataja, J, Twedon, K, and Honda, CN.  Effects of high frequency alternating current on axonal conduction through the vagus nerve.  J Neural Eng. 2011;8(5):056013.
  • Schramm CL, Honda CN. Co-administration of δ- and μ-opioid receptor agonists promotes peripheral opioid receptor function. Pain. 2010 Dec;151(3):763-70.

Former Graduate Students:

Catherine Satterfield (Ph.D. 2008, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Cicely Schramm (Ph.D. 2010, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Heather Wenk (Ph.D. 2002, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Christopher Honda