Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy
2.143 Medical Research Building (MRB)
Route: 1069 | Tel: 409-772-1703 | Fax: (409) email@example.com
Education and Training
PhD in Anatomy, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Marine Biomedical Institute, UTMB, Galveston, TX
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
BS in Biology, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
My research activities focus on the analysis of neuroplasticity that
underlies chronic pain. In one line of research, we are elucidating
those receptors involved in the processing of nociceptive (painful)
input in the periphery. Then, using models of inflammation coupled with
anatomical, behavioral, pharmacological and electrophysiological
techniques, we investigate how these receptor populations change in
acute and chronic inflammation. We are particularly interested in the
role of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors as well as
somatostatin and TRPV1 receptors which are expressed by cutaneous
nociceptors. It is becoming clear that a variety of receptors are
present on peripheral axons that influence sensory transduction in the
normal state and contribute to enhanced nociceptor function in the
inflamed state. Investigating neuronal receptor populations in normal
skin and changes in these populations in chronic pain states may
elucidate new avenues for therapy for pain of peripheral origin.
A second focus in the lab is the study of mechanisms underlying
both peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Using models of peripheral
nerve injury or spinal cord contusion, we are defining those mechanisms
contributing to the aberrant sensory processing that arises following
PNS or CNS injury, respectively. We have demonstrated that a CNS injury
(spinal cord contusion) results in sensitization of primary afferents
far from the injury site. This finding may have implications for other
painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, thalamic post-stroke pain and
Shi, Y., Yuan, S., Li, B., Wang, J., Carlton, S.M., Chung,
K., Chung, J.M. and Tang, S.J. Regulation of Wnt Signaling by
Nociceptive Input in Animal Models. Molecular Pain, 8:47, 2012.
Govea, R., Zhou, S. and Carlton, S.M. Group III metabotropic
glutamate receptors and TRPV1 co-localize and interact on nociceptors.
Neuroscience, 217: 130-139, 2012.
Cabanero, D., Melyan, Z., Baker, A.., Zhou, S., Hargett, G., Xia, Y., Beaudry, H., Gendron, L., Carlton, S.M.
and Moron, J.A. Pain after discontinuation of morphine treatment is
associated with synaptic increase of GluA4-containing AMPAR in the
dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology,
Hogan D., Baker A., Moron, J.A. and Carlton, S.M. Systemic
morphine treatment induces changes in firing patterns and responses of
nociceptive afferent fibers in mouse glabrous skin. Pain, 154:
Luo, J., Walters E.T., Carlton, S.M. and Hu, H. Targeting
Pain-evoking Transient Receptor Potential Channels for the Treatment of
Pain, Current Neuropharmacology,11, 652-663, 2013
Yin, S., Luo, J., Qian, A., Du, J., Yang, Q., Zhou, S., Yu, W., Du, G., Clark, R.B., Walters, E..T, Carlton, S.M.
and Hu H. Retinoids activate the irritant receptor TRPV1 and produce
sensory hypersensitivity. J Clin Invest. 123:3941-3951, 2013.
Yuan, S.B., Shi, Y., Chen, J., Zhou, X., Li, G., Gelman, B.B., Lisinicchia, J.G., Carlton, S.M.,
Ferguson M.R., Tan, A., Sarna, S.K. and Tang, S.J. Gp120 in the
pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus-associated pain. Annals of
Neurology 75: 837-850, 2014.
Carlton, S.M. Primary afferent nociceptors: They have a mind of their own. J. Physiology 592:3403-3411, 2014.
Hipolito, L., Wilson-Poe, A., Campos-Jurado, Y., Zhong, E., Gonzalez-Romero, J., Virag, L., Whittington, R., Comer, S.D., Carlton, S.M.,
Walker, B.M., Bruchas. M.R. and Moron, J.A., Inflammatory pain promotes
increased opioid self-administration: Role of dysregulated ventral
tegmental area mu opioid receptors. J. Neuroscience 35:12217-12231,
Szteyn, K., Rowan, M.P., Gomez, R., Du, J., Carlton, S.M. and
Jeske, N.A. A-Kinase Anchoring Protein 79/150 Coordinates Metabotropic
Glutamate Receptor Sensitization of Peripheral Sensory Neurons. Pain
156: 2364-2372, 2015.
Link to PubMed Publications