Lucy Vulchanova, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Neuroscience


Research Interests:

My research interests are focused on mechanisms of pain signaling. We are examining changes in sensory neurons that are induced by peripheral tissue damage and contribute to the development of persistent pain. One research program that is currently underway is focused on the neuropeptide precursor VGF. VGF peptides are involved in neuroplasticity, but their mechanisms of action are completely unknown. We found that VGF peptides participate in spinal pain mechanisms through activation of microglia, the resident macrophages of the nervous system. We are presently examining the signaling pathways that mediate the effects of VGF peptides and the potential role of these peptides in chronic pain. Other lines of investigation that we are involved in include neuro-keratinocyte interactions and their contribution to hypersensitivity, the development of viral vectors for targeting of proteins that participate in pain pathways, and neuro-immune interactions in the intestine.

Selected Publications:

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

Lin WJ, Jiang C, Sadahiro M, Bozdagi O, Vulchanova L, Alberini CM, Salton SR. VGF and Its C-Terminal Peptide TLQP-62 Regulate Memory Formation in Hippocampus via a BDNF-TrkB-Dependent Mechanism. J Neurosci. 2015 Jul 15;35(28):10343-56.

Guedon JM, Wu S, Zheng X, Churchill CC, Glorioso JC, Liu CH, Liu S, Vulchanova L, Bekker A, Tao YX, Kinchington PR, Goins WF, Fairbanks CA, Hao S. Current gene therapy using viral vectors for chronic pain. Mol Pain. 2015 May 13;11:27.

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, 43(3):515-26, 2015.

Cero C, Vostrikov VV, Verardi R, Severini C, Gopinath T, Braun PD, Sassano MF, Gurney A, Roth BL, Vulchanova L, Possenti R, Veglia G, Bartolomucci A. The TLQP-21 peptide activates the G-protein-coupled receptor C3aR1 via a folding-upon-binding mechanism. Structure. 2014 Dec 2;22(12):1744-53.

Schuster DJ, Belur LR, Riedl MS, Schnell SA, Podetz-Pedersen KM, Kitto KF, McIvor RS, Vulchanova L, Fairbanks CA. Supraspinal gene transfer by intrathecal adeno-associated virus serotype 5. Front Neuroanat. 2014 Aug 5;8:66. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00066. eCollection 2014.

Schuster DJ, Dykstra JA, Riedl MS, Kitto KF, Belur LR, McIvor RS, Elde RP, Fairbanks CA, Vulchanova L. Biodistribution of adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vector after intrathecal and intravenous delivery in mouse. Front Neuroanat. 2014 Jun 10;8:42. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00042. eCollection 2014.

Fairbanks CA, Peterson CD, Speltz RH, Riedl MS, Kitto KF, Dykstra JA, Braun PD, Sadahiro M, Salton SR, Vulchanova L. The VGF-derived peptide TLQP-21 contributes to inflammatory and nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity. Pain. 2014 Jul;155(7):1229-37.

Possenti R, Muccioli G, Petrocchi P, Cero C, Cabassi A, Vulchanova L, Riedl MS, Manieri M, Frontini A, Giordano A, Cinti S, Govoni P, Graiani G, Quaini F, Ghè C, Bresciani E, Bulgarelli I, Torsello A, Locatelli V, Sanghez V, Larsen BD,  Petersen JS, Palanza P, Parmigiani S, Moles A, Levi A, Bartolomucci A. Characterization of a novel peripheral pro-lipolytic mechanism in mice: role of VGF-derived peptide TLQP-21. Biochem J. 2012 Jan 1;441(1):511-22. PubMed PMID: 21880012.

L. Vulchanova, D. Schuster, L. Belur, M. S. Riedl, K. M. Podetz-Pedersen, K. F. Kitto, G. L. Wilcox, R. S. McIvor, C. A. Fairbanks. Differential adeno-associated virus mediated gene transfer to sensory neurons following intrathecal delivery by direct lumbar puncture. Mol Pain. 2010 May 28;6:31. PubMed PMID: 20509925; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2900238.

Seth M, Lamont EA, Janagama HK, Widdel A, Vulchanova L, Stabel JR, Waters WR, Palmer MV, Sreevatsan S. Biomarker discovery in subclinical mycobacterial infections of cattle. PLoS One. 2009;4(5):e5478.

L. Schmidt, Y.H. Xie, L. Vulchanova, M. Lyte and D.R. Brown. Autonomic neurotransmitters modulate immunoglobulin A secretion in porcine colonic mucosa.  J. Neuroimmunol., 185(1-2):20-8, 2007.

L. Vulchanova, M.A. Casey, G.W. Crabb, W. R. Kennedy and D.R. Brown. Anatomical evidence for enteric neuroimmune interactions in Peyer's patches. J. Neuroimmunol., 185(1-2):64-74, 2007.

K.A. Hyland, L. Kohrt L, L. Vulchanova , M.P. Murtaugh. Mucosal innate immune response to intragastric infection by Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis. Mol Immunol. 43(11):1890-9, 2006

C. Chen, M. Lyte, M.P. Stevens, L. Vulchanova, D.R. Brown. Mucosally-directed adrenergic nerves and sympathomimetic drugs enhance non-intimate adherence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to porcine cecum and colon. Eur J Pharmacol, 539(1-2):116-24, 2006.

M.S. Riedl, P.D. Braun, K.F. Kitto, S.A. Roiko, L.B. Anderson, C.N. Honda, C.A. Fairbanks, L. Vulchanova. Proteomic Analysis Uncovers Novel Actions of the Neurosecretory Protein VGF in Nociceptive Processing. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(42):13377, 2009L.S. Stone, L. Vulchanova, M.S. Riedl, F.G. Williams, G.L. Wilcox, R. Elde. Effects of peripheral nerve injury on delta opioid receptor (DOR) immunoreactivity in the rat spinal cord. Neurosci Lett. 361(1-3):208-11, 2004.

Green, B.T., M. Lyte, C. Chen, Y. Xie, M.A. Casey, A. Kulkarni-Narla, L. Vulchanova and D.R. Brown. Adrenergic modulation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 adherence to the colonic mucosa.  Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol., 287(6):G1238-46, 2004

L. Vulchanova, T.H. Olson, L.S. Stone, M.S. Riedl, R. Elde and C.N. Honda. Cytotoxic targeting of isolectin IB4-binding sensory neurons. Neuroscience, 108:143-55, 2001.

Current Graduate Students:

Jennifer Cook (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Reshma Gore (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Lucy Vulchanova