Conversion of somatic cells into nociceptors
Inventors: Clifford Woolf, Brian Wainger, Kevin Eggan, Isaac Chiu, Justin Ichida
Invention Types: Research Tool, Therapeutics
Research Areas: Neurology/Neuroscience, Pain
Keywords: AssayFor More Information Contact: Caron, Connie
Nociceptors are the first-order neuron in the pain sensory transduction pathway and play the critical first step in the detection of noxious stimuli (nociception) and in the development of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Researchers at Boston Childrenâ€™s Hospital and Harvard have successfully identified methods of transdifferentiating somatic cells, (e.g., a fibroblast) into an induced nociceptor cell by increasing the protein expression of five nociceptor inducing factors. These induced nociceptors have characteristics of a typical noxious stimulus-detecting nociceptor cell. Nociceptors are generated from an expandable cell population, so that large numbers of cells can be easily produced, e.g. for screens - applications that require large scalability are not feasible with primary nociceptors.
- Commercial kit for producing induced nociceptors.
- Drug screening using nociceptors in in vitro assays to identify compounds that may be used as anti-pain or neuropathy therapeutics.
- Drug screening to identify potential pain-producing side effect
- Nociceptors mimic pain receptors better than rodent models for investigating and predicting human disease phenotypes, i.e. analgesia.
- In vitro is faster than in vivo models
- Nociceptors can be reprogrammed from somatic cell, such as fibroblast ob
Non-exclusive license for creating commercial research kits and for providing commercial services.
Wainger BJ, et al. Modeling pain in vitro using nociceptor neurons reprogrammed from fibroblasts. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Jan;18(1):17-24.
IPStatus: Pat. Pend.