Mao, MD, Ph.D.
Neuroscience Center at Massachusetts General
Massachusetts General Hospital –
Charlestown, MA 02129
Our research group focuses on studying the neural and molecular mechanisms
of pain and opioid tolerance. We are particularly interested in investigating
the interaction between pathological pain and paradoxical pain sensitivity
resulting from opioid administration. The group also has access to patients
with acute and chronic pain on opioid therapy and actively involves
in translational pain research in these areas.
The techniques used in the group include behavioral and
pharmacological assessment, immunohistochemistry, autoradiographic receptor
binding and amino acid reuptake assay, HPLC assay, cell culture, conventional
molecular biology techniques, and ELISA.
The following is a list of ongoing projects in
1. Neuronal apoptosis induced by chronic opioid administration;
2. Intracellular mechanisms underlying opioid-induced neuronal apoptosis;
3. Role of central cannabinoid receptors in the cellular mechanisms
of neuropathic pain and their signal transduction
4. Role of the central glutamatergic system in the cellular mechanisms
of neuropathic pain and its interaction with
the central cannabinoid system;
5. Opioid-induced abnormal pain sensitivity and its cellular mechanisms;
6. Translational pain research with an emphasis on neuropathic pain
and opioid tolerance;
here to access a full PubMed search on Dr. Mao
J, Sung B, Ji RR, Lim G. Neuronal apoptosis associated with morphine
tolerance: evidence for an opioid-induced neurotoxic mechanism, J Neurosci,
2002; 22: 7650-7661.
J, Sung B, Ji RR, Lim G. Chronic morphine induces down-regulation
of spinal glutamate transporters: implications in morphine tolerance
and abnormal pain sensitivity, J Neurosci, 2002; 22:8312-8323.
• Sung B, Lim G, Mao
J: Altered expression and uptake activity of spinal glutamate
transporters following peripheral nerve injury contributes to the pathogenesis
of neuropathic pain in rats. 2003, J Neurosci, 23;2899-2910.
• Lim G, Sung B, Ji RR,
Mao J: Upregulation of spinal cannabinoid-1-receptors
following peripheral nerve injury enhances the effects of Win 55,212-2
on neuropathic pain behaviors in rats. 2003; Pain, 105:275-283.
• Ballantyne J, Mao
J. Opioid therapy for chronic pain. New Eng J Med, 2003; 349:1943-1953.