My research interests focus on motor control and pain mechanisms and treatment. Our pain research involves basic and clinical studies on the mechanisms and therapeutic interventions of common neuropathic pain conditions. We use animal models to study the mechanisms and therapeutic strategies of neuropathic pain. Specifically, we are interested in the interaction of the immune and nervous systems in pain and identification of new therapeutic targets. We are particularly interested in studies that help translate basic research findings to safe, efficacious, and cost-effective care of patients. We also conduct a large number of clinical studies of innovative treatment modalities for chronic pain conditions. In motor control, we study the interneuronal mechanisms for the control of locomotion. Paraplegic patients dream to be able to walk again after spinal cord injuries. A practical issue concerns the feasibility to reactivate the spared spinal neural circuitry to control some of the lost locomotor functions. It is critical to understand the properties of interneurons and their interactions within the spinal circuitry in order to unlock this potential. Intracellular recording are performed in the in vitro mudpuppy spinal cord-forelimb preparation during walking-like movement of the limbs. Four classes of interneurons are identified within the recently identified flexor and extensor centers of the mudpuppy. The goals are to unravel common principles that govern the organization and operation of the neural circuitry for walking.
In other words ...
Chronic pain is common and often difficult to treat. We are interested in identifying safe, efficacious, and cost-effective therapies to relieve the suffering of patients. We are particularly interested in new therapeutic modalities that may help to relieve debilitating pain that originates from lesion, injury, or disease of the nervous system, such as postherpetic neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, and nerve entrapment syndromes. We aim to achieve our goals by using animal models to better understand the mechanisms of pain and to test new and promising treatments. Our projects include analgesic cell therapy based on stem cell technology, medications that modulate the interaction between neurons, glia cells, and immune cells in the nervous system, and interventional procedures that can modulate or block painful signals transmitted to the central nervous system. We also conduct clinical studies to test and compare the efficacy of different treatment modalities to guide clinical practice. A unique aspect of our research is that we use a combination of laboratory investigation and clinical study to address important problems that the patients present everyday. Our research was initiated with grants support from the National Institutes of Health and is currently sponsored by the Department of Defense.
Qingyuan Fan M.D., Ph.D.
Jing Li Ph.D.
Selected Publications (2013-present):
Li F, Liu L, Cheng K, Chen Z, Cheng J. (2018) The Use of Stem Cell Therapy to Reverse Opioid Tolerance. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 103(6):971-974. PMID: 29285750
Liu L, Yin Y, Li F, Malhotra C, Cheng J. (2017) Flow cytometry analysis of inflammatory cells isolated from the sciatic nerve and DRG after chronic constriction injury in mice. J Neurosci Methods 284:47-56. PMID: 28445708
Liu L, Hua Z, Shen J, Yin Y, Yang J, Cheng K, Liu A, Wang L, Cheng J. (2017) Comparative Efficacy of Multiple Variables of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain in Rats. Mil Med. 182(S1):175-184. PMID: 28291470
Wang F, Zhou Q, Xiao L, Yang J, Xong D, Li D, Liu L, Ancha S, Cheng J. (2016) A Randomized Comparative Study of Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment With or Without Selective Nerve Root Block for Chronic Cervical Radicular Pain. Pain Pract, in press. PMID: 27739217
Cheng J, Chen SL, Zimmerman N, Dalton JE, LaSalle G, Rosenquist R. (2016) A New Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure to Treat Sacroiliac Joint Pain. Pain Physician 19(8):603-615. PMID: 27906939
Hua Z, Liu L, Shen J, Cheng K, Liu A, Yang J, Wang L, Qu T, Yang H, Li Y, Wu H, Narouze J, Yin Y, Cheng J. (2016) Mesenchymal Stem Cells Reversed Morphine Tolerance and Opioid-induced Hyperalgesia. Sci Rep 6:32096. PMID: 27554341; PMCID: PMC4995471
Lavrov I, Fox L, Shen J, Han Y, Cheng J. (2016) Gap Junctions Contribute to the Regulation of Walking-Like Activity in the Adult Mudpuppy (Necturus Maculatus). PLoS One 11(3):e0152650. PMID: 27023006; PMCID: PMC4811563
Bautista A, Dadabayev A, Rosenquist E, Cheng J. (2016) Bipolar Radiofrequency Neurotomy to Treat Neck and Back Pain in Patients with Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. Pain Physician 19(3):E505-9. PMID: 27008309
Xu J, Yang J, Lin P, Rosenquist E, Cheng J. (2016) Intravenous Therapies for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Systematic Review. Anesth Analg 122(3):843-56. PMID: 26891396
Xiao L, Li J, Li D, Yan D, Yang J, Wang D, Cheng J. (2015) A posterior approach to cervical nerve root block and pulsed radiofrequency treatment for cervical radicular pain: a retrospective study. J Clin Anesth 27(6):486-91. PMID: 26051825
Shen J, Fox LE, Cheng J. (2013) Swim therapy reduces mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by chronic constriction nerve injury in rats. Pain Med 14(4):516-25. PMID: 23438327; PMCID: PMC3625453
Cheng J, Pope JE, Dalton JE, Cheng O, Bensitel A. (2013) Comparative outcomes of cooled versus traditional radiofrequency ablation of the lateral branches for sacroiliac joint pain. Clin J Pain 29(2):132-7. PMID: 22688606
Xiao L, Cheng J, Zhuang Y, Qu W, Muir J, Liang H, Zhang D. (2013) Botulinum toxin type A reduces hyperalgesia and TRPV1 expression in rats with neuropathic pain. Pain Med 14(2):276-86. PMID: 2330151