Using chemogenetics to interrogate nociceptor function
Sensory neurons in general and nociceptors in particular, are heterogeneous. Recent advances have been made in stratifying sub-populations by molecular profiling, however the functional role these different populations play in nociceptive processing is less clear. I will discuss our efforts to develop chemogenetic tools useful for interrogating sensory neuron physiology. This includes our use of a modified form of the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl), to remotely silence rodent sensory neurons in vivo. A key pathological driver for the induction and maintenance of peripheral neuropathic pain is hyper-excitability of sensory neurons. I will show data that illustrates the potential for targeted chemogenetic silencing as a new treatment modality in neuropathic pain.