Lucy Vulchanova, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

E-MAIL: vulch001@umn.edu

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.)

  • 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;65(12):1976-1989.
  • Peterson CD, Kitto KF, Akgün E, Lunzer MM, Riedl MS, Vulchanova L, Wilcox GL, Portoghese PS, Fairbanks CA. Bivalent ligand that activates mu opioid receptor and antagonizes mGluR5 receptor reduces neuropathic pain in mice. Pain. 2017;158(12):2431-2441.
  • Belur LR, Temme A, Podetz-Pedersen KM, Riedl M, Vulchanova L, Robinson N, Hanson LR, Kozarsky KF, Orchard PJ, Frey WH 2nd, Low WC, McIvor RS. Intranasal adeno-associated virus mediated gene delivery and expression of human iduronidase in the central nervous system: A noninvasive and effective approach for prevention of neurologic disease in mucopolysaccharidosis type I. Hum Gene Ther. 2017;28(7):576-587.
  • 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;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;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.
  • 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.
  • 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;155(7):1229-37.
  • Brosnahan AJ, Vulchanova L, Witta SR, Dai Y, Jones BJ, Brown DR. Norepinephrine potentiates proinflammatory responses of human vaginal epithelial cells. J Neuroimmunol. 2013;259:8-16.
  • 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:e89-100.
  • 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;441:511-522.

Current Graduate Students:

Roman Tyshynsky (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Jennifer Cook (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Reshma Gore (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Lucy Vulchanova