Dr. Ken Hargreaves lab's primary research interests are in the pharmacology of pain and inflammation. A major focus is on pharmacological regulation of unmyelinated "C" fiber nociceptors, as well as their plasticity in response to inflammation or nerve injury. Investigations are in progress evaluating the effects of TRPV1, cannabinoids, opioids, adrenergics, NPY, sex steroids and other drugs on regulating the activity of these fibers.
In addition, we are interested in identifying major classes of inflammatory mediators and associated receptor/signal transduction systems which mediate activation, sensitization and phenotypic plasticity of these primary afferent fibers in response to tissue inflammation. Responses are measured using isolated superfused tissue, primary trigeminal cultures, microdialysis probes implanted in situ, RIA, EIA, real time PCR, electrophysiology, Affymetrex analyses, IHC, ISH, confocal microscopy, behavior, etc.