Robert W. Gereau, Ph.D.

Professor of Anesthesiology and Chief, Basic Research Division, Washington University Pain Center

B.S. in Biology (1991)
Missouri State University

Ph.D. in Neuroscience (1995)
Emory University School of Medicine

Postdoctoral training (1995-1998)
The Salk Institute

gereaur@wustl.edu

Gereau Lab Web Site

Our lab is interested in determining the cellular and molecular changes that underlie the development of chronic pain conditions. Over 50 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from chronic pain, but the treatments available to these patients are few and their use is limited by severe side effects of these medications. Unfortunately for these individuals, little progress has been made in the development of new types of medications to treat chronic pain.

In our lab, we utilize a combination of behavioral studies, patch clamp electrophysiology, molecular and genetic approaches to understand the role of neurotransmitter receptors and signaling pathways involved in nervous system plasticity that underlies pain sensitization. Our studies examine plasticity in primary sensory neurons where painful stimuli are transduced, in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where the first synaptic relay occurs for pain signals headed to the brain, and in the amygdala, a region of the brain important for the negative emotional components of pain. Our goal is to identify molecular targets for the development of new classes of pain relieving medications.

Recent Publications

2007

 

Chiechio, S, Copani, A, Gereau, R.W, and Nicoletti, F. (2007) Acetyl-L-carnitine in neuropathic pain.  CNS Drugs, 21 Suppl 1:31-8.

 

Zhao, Z, Gao, YJ, Sun, YG, Zhao, C, Gereau, RW, and Chen, Z (2007) Central serotonergic neurons are differentially required for opioid analgesia but not for morphine tolerance or morphine reward. PNAS 104(36): 14519-14524.

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Zhao, Z, Chiechio, S, Sun, Y, Zhang, K, Zhao, CS, Scott, M, Johnson, RL, Deneris, ES, Renner, KJ, Gereau, RW, and Chen, ZF (2007) Mice lacking central serotonergic neurons show enhanced inflammatory pain and an impaired analgesic response to antidepressant drugs. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(22): 6045-6053.

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Carrasquillo, Y., and Gereau, R.W. (2007) Activation of the Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinase in the Amygdala Modulates Pain Perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(7): 1543-1551.

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2006

 

Zhao, Z.Q., Scott, M., Chiechio, S., Wang, J.-S., Renner, K.J., Gereau, R.W., Johnson, R.L., Deneris, E.S., and Chen, Z.F. (2006) Lmx1b is required for maintenance of central serotonergic neurons and mice lacking central serotonergic system show normal locomotor activity. Journal of Neuroscience , 26(49):12781-12788.

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Chiechio, S., Copani, A., Nicoletti, F., and Gereau, R.W. (2006) L-acetylcarnitine: a proposed therapeutic agent for painful peripheral neuropathies. Current Neuropharmacology 4: 233-237.

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Chiechio, S, Copani, A, De Petris, L, Morales, M.E., Nicoletti, F, and Gereau, RW (2006) Transcriptional regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 expression by the NF-kappaB pathway in primary dorsal root ganglia neurons: a possible mechanism for the analgesic effect of L-Acetylcarnitine. Molecular Pain 2:20

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Story, GM, and Gereau, RW. (2006) Numbing the senses: Role of TRPA1 in mechanical and cold sensation. Neuron 50(2):177-180.

 

Hu, HJ., Carrasquillo, Y., Karim, F., Jung, WE., Nerbonne, JM., Schwarz, TL., and Gereau, RW (2006) The Kv4.2 potassium channel subunit is required for pain plasticity. Neuron 50: 89-100.

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Jin, X.J. and Gereau, R.W. (2006) Acute p38-mediated modulation of TTX-resistant sodium channels in mouse sensory neurons by tumor necrosis factor alpha.  Journal of Neuroscience . 26(1): 246-255.

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Karim, F., Hu, HJ.,Adwanikar, H., Kaplan, DR., and Gereau, R.W. (2006) Impaired inflammatory pain and thermal hyperalgesia in mice expressing neuron-specific dominant negative mitogen activated protein kinase kinase (MEK). Molecular Pain 2:2.

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2005

 

Gereau, R.W. (2005) Neurofibromatosis Pain is in the Membrane.  Focus on "Sensory Neurons from Nf1 Haploinsufficient Mice Exhibit Increased Excitability." Journal of Neurophysiology. 94:3659.

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Alagarsamy, S., Saugstad, J., Warren, L., Mansuy, I., Gereau, R.W., and Conn, P.J. (2005) NMDA-induced potentiation of mGluR5 is mediated by activation of protein phosphatase 2B/calcineurin. Neuropharmacology.  49 Suppl. 1: 135-145.

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2004

 

Bhave, G., and Gereau, R.W. (2004) Post-translational mechanisms of peripheral sensitization. Journal of Neurobiology. 61(1): 88-106.

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Yang, D. and Gereau, R.W. (2004) Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors inhibit cAMP-dependent protein kinase-mediated enhancement of tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium currents in mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons. Neuroscience Letters. 357: 159-162.

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Carrasquillo, Y. and Gereau, R.W. (2004) Rodent models clarify the role of cells expression the substance P receptor in pain.  Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models . 1(2): 107-13.

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Adwanikar, H., Karim, F., and Gereau, R. W. (2004) Inflammation persistently enhances nocifensive behaviors induced by spinal group I mGluR activation through sustained ERK activation. Pain. 111(1-2): 125-35.

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2003

 

Yang, D. and Gereau, R.W. (2003) Peripheral group II mGluRs mediate endogenous anti-allodynia in inflammation. Pain . 106: 411-417

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Bhave, G., Hu, H.-J., Glauner, K.S., Zhu, W., Wang, H., Brasier, D.J., Oxford, G.S. and Gereau, R.W. (2003) Protein kinase C sensitizes but does not activate the capsaicin receptor TRPV1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 100(21): 12480-12485.

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Bhave, G. and Gereau, R.W. (2003) Growing Pains: The cytoskeleton as a critical regulator of pain plasticity. Neuron . 39: 577-589.

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Hu, H.-J., Glauner, K.S., and Gereau, R.W. (2003) ERK integrates PKA and PKC signaling in superficial dorsal horn neurons I: modulation of A-Type K+ currents. Journal of Neurophysiology. 90: 1671-1679.

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Hu, H.-J. and Gereau, R.W. (2003) ERK integrates PKA and PKC signaling in superficial dorsal horn neurons II: modulation of neuronal excitability. Journal of Neurophysiology. 90: 1680-1688.

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Bhave, G., Nadin, B., Brasier, D.J., Glauner, K.S., Shah, R.D., Heinemann, S.F., Karim, F. and Gereau, R.W. (2003) Analysis of the membrane topology of a metabotropic glutamate receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry . 278(32): 30294-30301.

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Neugebauer, V., Li, W., Bird, G.C., Bhave, G., and Gereau, R.W. (2003) Synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in prolonged pain: differential roles of mGluR1 and mGluR5. Journal of Neuroscience . 23: 52-63.

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2002

 

Bhave, G., Zhu, W., Wang, H., Brasier, D.J., Oxford, G. and Gereau, R.W. (2002) cAMP-dependent protein kinase regulates desensitization of the capsaicin receptor (VR1) by direct phosphorylation. Neuron . 35: 721-731.

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Hu, H.-J., Bhave, G. and Gereau, R.W. (2002) Prostaglandin and protein kinase A-dependent modulation of vanilloid receptor function by metabotropic glutamate receptor 5: potential mechanism for thermal hyperalgesia. Journal of Neuroscience . 22 :7444-7452.

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Yang, D. and Gereau, R.W. (2002) Peripheral group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2/3) regulate prostaglandin E2-mediated sensitization of capsaicin responses and thermal nociception. Journal of Neuroscience . 22(15): 6388-6393.

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Faas, G., Adwanikar, H., Gereau, R.W., and Saggau, P. (2002) Modulation of presynaptic calcium transients by metabotropic glutamate receptor activation: a differential role in acute depression of synaptic transmission and long-term depression. Journal of Neuroscience . 22(16): 6885-5890.

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Varney, M. and Gereau, R.W. (2002) Metabotropic glutamate receptor involvement in models of acute and persistent pain: prospect for the development of novel analgesics. Current Drug Targets: CNS and Neurologic Disorders. 1: 283-296.

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2001

 

Bhave, G., Karim, F., Carlton , S. and Gereau, R.W. (2001) Peripheral group I metabotropic glutamate receptors modulate nociception in mice. Nature Neuroscience 4(4): 417-423.

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Karim, F., Wang, C.-C., and Gereau, R.W. (2001) Metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes 1 and 5 are activators of ERK signaling required for inflammatory pain in mice. Journal of Neuroscience . 21: 3771-3779.

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Karim, F., Bhave, G., and Gereau, R.W. (2001) Metabotropic glutamate receptors on peripheral sensory neuron terminals as targets for the development of novel analgesics. Molecular Psychiatry. 6:615-617.