Areas of Research
- Chronic Pain
- Cell Signaling
Research projects in the Pan ZZ lab have made significant impacts and conceptual advances in the fields of epigenetic mechanisms of chronic pain, functional interactions of chronic pain and opioid reward, synaptic plasticity and molecular modulation of glutamate receptors, and opioid receptor signaling and trafficking.
Research projects in the Pan ZZ lab are focused on the following areas:
- Identifying neuronal circuits in the brain’s cortical and limbic areas that control and regulate behavioral development of chronic pain and associated negative emotion with optogenetic techniques.
- Demonstrating epigenetic mechanisms that regulate transcriptional expression of genes related to transcriptional regulators, glutamate receptors and opioid receptors for chronic pain and opioid addiction with molecular and genetic tools.
- Synaptic plasticity and adaptations in brain circuits induced by chronic pain and long-term opioids and their behavioral functions with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and behavioral analyses.
We appreciate the funding support for our research over the past 25 years from the following institutions: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- Ge J, Cai YQ, Pan ZZ (2022) Synaptic plasticity in two cell types of central amygdala for regulation of emotion and pain. Front Cell Neurosci 16:997360.
- Tao W, Chen C, Wang Y, Zhou W, JIn Y, Mao Y, Wang H, Wang L, Xie W, Zhang X, Li J, Li X, Tang ZQ, Zhou CH, Pan ZZ, Zhang Z (2020) MeCP2 mediates transgenerational transmission of chronic pain. Prog Neurobiol 189:101790.
- Zhou, CH, Ding XB, Shi NH, Wu YQ, Cai YQ, Pan ZZ (2020) SIRT1 decreases emotional pain vulnerability by deacetylating CaMKII in central amygdala. J Neurosci 40:2332-2342.
- Cai YQ, Wang W, Paulucci-Holthauzen, Pan ZZ (2018) Brain circuits mediating opposing effects on emotion and pain. J Neurosci 38:6340-6349.
- Hou YY, Cai YQ, Pan ZZ (2015) Persistent pain maintains morphine-seeking behavior after morphine withdrawal through reduced MeCP2 repression of GluA1 in rat central amygdala. J Neurosci 35:3689-3700.
- Zhang Z, Tao W, Hou YY, Wang W, Kenny, PJ, Pan ZZ (2014) MeCP2 repression of G9a in regulation of pain and morphine reward. J Neurosci 34:9076-9087.
- Cai YQ, Wang W, Hou YY, Xie j, Pan ZZ (2013) Central amygdala GluA1 facilitates associative learning of opioid reward. J Neurosci 33:1577-1588.
- Zhang Z, Cai YQ, Zou F, Bie B, Pan ZZ (2011) Epigenetic suppression of GAD65 expression mediates persistent pain. Nat Med 17:1448-1455.