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Chao Ma, MD

Assistant Professor Adjunct; Adjunct Professor

Contact Information

Chao Ma, MD

Lab Location

Mailing Address

  • Department of Anesthesiology

    PO Box 208051, 333 Cedar Street, TMP 3

    New Haven, CT, 06520-8051

    United States

Research Summary

  • Antigen-specific immune mechanisms of chronic pain: This study will reveal a novel mechanism of chronic pain driven by the antigen-specific immune response in the peripheral nervous system. It may provide new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of chronic pain.
  • Mechanisms of hyperexcitability in primary sensory neurons after injury or inflammation in the peripheral nervous system: Using an animal model of chronic compression of dorsal root ganglion which simulates the radicular pain in human, we will explore the ion channel mechanisms underlying neuronal hyperexcitability and pain-related behaviors. This study will provide valuable information for the understanding and treatment of chronic pain.

Extensive Research Description

  • Antigen-specific immune mechanisms of chronic pain: This study will reveal a novel mechanism of chronic pain driven by the antigen-specific immune response via the effects of IgG immune complex on the Fc receptors expressed in primary sensory neurons. We will establish a unique animal model of chronic pain using an externally introduced antigen and study the role of IgG immune complex and the corresponding Fc receptors in pain-related behaviors as well as neuronal excitability in dorsal root ganglion. It will provide potentially new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of chronic pain.
  • Mechanisms of hyperexcitability in primary sensory neurons after injury or inflammation in the peripheral nervous system: Injury or inflammation to the peripheral nerve, root, or ganglion can produce pain and hyperalgesia which often respond poorly to currently available treatment. Neuronal hyperexcitability, especially the abnormal spontaneous activity in dorsal root ganglion neurons is believed to play a critical role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Using an animal model of chronic compression of dorsal root ganglion which simulates the radicular pain in human, we will explore the ion channel mechanisms underlying neuronal hyperexcitability with a combination of behavioral, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological, immunohistochemical and molecular biological methods. This study will provide valuable information for the understanding and treatment of chronic pain.
  • Antigen-specific immune mechanisms of chronic pain.
  • Mechanisms of hyperexcitability in primary sensory neurons after injury or inflammation in the peripheral nervous system.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Pain; Pain, Intractable

Selected Publications