Events Calendar

SFB 1158 IZN-NBL Lecture (Virtual)
Wednesday 02 March 2022, 13:00 - 14:00

Heidelberg Neurobiology and SFB 1158 Lecture

Speaker: Prof. Carolina Laura Roza Fernández de Caleya, Department of Systems Biology, University of Alcalá, Spain

Title: Does neuropathic pain follow primary afferents’ beat?

Date: Wednesday, March 02, 2022 13:00 (CET)

Mode: Virtual via ZOOM

Host: Martin Schmelz


Title and Abstract: Does neuropathic pain follow primary afferents’ beat?

Many patients experience positive symptoms after traumatic nerve injury. Despite the increasing number of experimental studies in models of peripheral neuropathy and the knowledge acquired, most of these patients lack an effective treatment for their chronic pain. One possible explanation might be that most of the preclinical studies focused on the development of mechanical or thermal allodynia/hyperalgesia, neglecting that patients complain mostly about spontaneous forms of pain. In this talk, I will focus on the electrophysiological characterization of primary afferents in preclinical models of neuropathic pain, the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and their relationship with the symptoms reported by patients. Upon nerve section, axotomized but also intact fibers develop ectopic spontaneous activity. Most interestingly, a proportion of axotomized fibers entrapped in a neuroma might present receptive fields in the skin far beyond the site of damage, indicating a functional cross talk between neuromatose and intact fibers. Finally, I would like to show how the beat of the spontaneous discharges generated at these peripheral fibers have an impact in the encoding and transmission of the nociceptive message in dorsal horn neurons, therefore contributing to central sensitization. Our data adds to the clinical and preclinical evidences that prompts to the identification of peripheral therapeutical targets to beat positive symptoms of neuropathic pain.

Short CV:

Dr. Roza has a degree in Molecular Biology from Universidad Autónoma in Madrid and a PhD from University of Alcala in 1998, where she worked under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Cerveró, (former IASP president). As an early career post-doc, she joined the Dr. Peter Reeh lab in Erlangen, Germany, where she specialized in single unit electrophysiology in vitro and complementary techniques for the study of primary afferent nociceptor. During her two years in Erlangen, she was one of the healthy volunteers that participated in skin microdialysis and microneurography studies that were led by Dr. Martin Schmelz and Dr. Herman Handwerker. Back then, she also met Dr. Katharina Zimmermann with whom she has an ongoing collaboration. Since 2011, she is a Professor at the Department of Systems Biology at the University of Alcalá, taking care of her teaching duties and running a laboratory devoted to the study of the primary afferent nociceptor. We try to understand how pain fibers get hyperexcitable when they are damaged and how this contributes to chronic pain. We use classical electrophysiological and inmunohistochemical approaches in animal models, but more recently are implementing proteomics and mass spectrometry analysis of biological samples to identify potential therapeutical targets.


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