Lucy Vulchanova, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Lucy Vulchanova

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-5726

Lab Address:
4-115 Jackson Hall

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Summary/Interests

Neuropeptides and spinal neuroplasticity

My research interests are focused on mechanisms of pain signaling. We are examining changes in sensory neurons that are induced by peripheral tissue damage and contribute to the development of persistent pain. One research program that is currently underway is focused on the neuropeptide precursor VGF. VGF peptides are involved in neuroplasticity, but their mechanisms of action are completely unknown. We found that VGF peptides participate in spinal pain mechanisms through activation of microglia, the resident macrophages of the nervous system. We are presently examining the signaling pathways that mediate the effects of VGF peptides and the potential role of these peptides in chronic pain. Other lines of investigation that we are involved in include neuro-keratinocyte interactions and their contribution to hypersensitivity, the development of viral vectors for targeting of proteins that participate in pain pathways, and neuro-immune interactions in the intestine.


Skorput, AGJ, Zhang, X, Waataja, JJ, Peterson, CD, Riedl, MS, Kitto, KF, Truong, H, Huffman, C, Salton, SR, Fairbanks, CA, Honda, CN & Vulchanova, L 2018, 'Involvement of the VGF-derived peptide TLQP-62 in nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity and spinal neuroplasticity' Pain, vol. 159, no. 9, pp. 1802-1813.

Borges Da Silva, H, Beura, LK, Wang, H, Hanse, EA, Gore, R, Scott, MC, Walsh, DA, Block, KE, Fonseca, R, Yan, Y, Hippen, KL, Blazar, BR, Masopust, D, Kelekar, A, Vulchanova, L, Hogquist, KA & Jameson, SC 2018, ' The purinergic receptor P2RX7 directs metabolic fitness of long-lived memory CD8 + T cells ' Nature, vol. 559, no. 7713, pp. 264-268.

Doolen, S, Cook, J, Riedl, MS, Kitto, KF, Kohsaka, S, Honda, CN, Fairbanks, CA, Taylor, BK & Vulchanova, L 2017, 'Complement 3a receptor in dorsal horn microglia mediates pronociceptive neuropeptide signaling' GLIA, vol. 65, no. 12, pp. 1976-1989.

Belur, LR, Temme, A, Podetz-Pedersen, KM, Riedl, M, Vulchanova, L, Robinson, N, Hanson, LR, Kozarsky, KF, Orchard, PJ, Frey, WH, Low, WC & Scott McIvor, R 2017, 'Intranasal Adeno-Associated Virus Mediated Gene Delivery and Expression of Human Iduronidase in the Central Nervous System: A Noninvasive and Effective Approach for Prevention of Neurologic Disease in Mucopolysaccharidosis Type i' Human Gene Therapy, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 576-587.

Peterson, CD, Kitto, KF, Akgun, E, Lunzer, MM, Riedl, MS, Vulchanova, L, Wilcox, GL, Portoghese, PS & Fairbanks, CA 2017, 'Bivalent ligand that activates mu opioid receptor and antagonizes mGluR5 receptor reduces neuropathic pain in mice' Pain, vol. 158, no. 12, pp. 2431-2441.

Kashem, SW, Riedl, MS, Yao, C, Honda, CN, Vulchanova, L & Kaplan, DH 2015, 'Nociceptive Sensory Fibers Drive Interleukin-23 Production from CD301b+ Dermal Dendritic Cells and Drive Protective Cutaneous Immunity' Immunity, vol. 43, no. 3, 3159, pp. 515-526.

Lin, WJ, Jiang, C, Sadahiro, M, Bozdagi, O, Vulchanova, L, Alberini, CM & Salton, SR 2015, 'VGF and its C-terminal peptide TLQP-62 regulate memory formation in hippocampus via a BDNF-TrkB-dependent mechanism' Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 35, no. 28, pp. 10343-10356.

Guedon, JMG, Wu, S, Zheng, X, Churchill, CC, Glorioso, JC, Liu, CH, Liu, S, Vulchanova, L, Bekker, A, Tao, YX, Kinchington, PR, Goins, WF, Fairbanks, CA & Hao, S 2015, 'Current gene therapy using viral vectors for chronic pain' Molecular Pain, vol. 11, no. 1, 27.

Cero, C, Vostrikov, VV, Verardi, R, Severini, C, Tata, G, Braun, PD, Sassano, MF, Gurney, A, Roth, BL, Vulchanova, L, Possenti, R, Veglia, G & Bartolomucci, A 2014, 'The TLQP-21 peptide activates the G-protein-coupled receptor C3aR1 via a folding-upon-binding mechanism' Structure, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 1744-1753.

Schuster, DJ, Belur, LR, Riedl, MS, Schnell, SA, Podetz-Pedersen, KM, Kitto, KF, McIvor, RS, Vulchanova, L & Fairbanks, CA 2014, 'Supraspinal gene transfer by intrathecal adeno-associated virus serotype 5' Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, vol. 8, no. AUG, 66.