Kalpna Gupta, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Kalpna Gupta

Contact Info


Lab Phone 612-624-7104

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Pamela Hansen

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

PhD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India


Dr Gupta received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry in 1984 from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. She subsequently did her Post-doctoral training in the Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation Division at the University of Minnesota.


Research Summary/Interests

Dr Gupta's research interest is in vascular biology and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis. Her work encompasses opioid and VEGF signaling with regard to angiogenesis-dependent pathophysiological conditions including cancer and retinopathy.

Cancer pain and opioid receptor signaling
Gupta laboratory’s key focus is on opioid receptor signaling in endothelium and its impact on angiogenesis and cancer progression. Opioids are used to treat severe pain in cancer, but they also interact with endothelium and tumor cells via several different opioid receptors. Current studies are examining opioid receptor oligomerization on endothelial cells and regulation of opioid receptor expression on endothelium and in the spinal cord. This is followed by examining the translation of opioid receptor activity in tumor progression and metastases and nociception (pain). The relationship of pain inducing pathways in the spinal cord and tumor microenvironment that may regulate the opioid receptor expression and tumor growth are being pursued. Long-term goal of the laboratory is to develop strategies and therapeutics that will inhibit tumor progression without compromising analgesia. Some collaborative clinical studies are in progress to investigate the relationship of opioid use and cancer progression.


  • Weber ML, Vang D, Velho PE, Gupta P, Nath KA, Crosson JT, Hebbel RP, Gupta K. Morphine promotes renal pathology in sickle mice. Int J Nephrol 2012, 5:109-18. PMID: 22888269.
  • Luk K, Boatman S, Johnson KN, Dudek OA, Ristau N, Vang D, Nguyen J, Gupta K. Influence of morphine on pericyte-endothelial interaction: Implications for antiangiogenic therapy. J Oncol. 2012; 2012:458385. PMID:22315595
  • Manning BM, Hebbel RP, Gupta K, Haynes CL. Carbon-fiber microelectrode amperometry reveals sickle-cell-induced inflammation and chronic morphine effects on single mast cells. ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Mar 16;7(3):543-51. PMID:22217155
  • Cain DM, Vang D, Simone DA, Hebbel RP, Gupta K. Mouse models for studying pain in sickle disease: Effects of strain, age, and acuteness. Br J Haematol. 2012 Feb;156(4):535-44. PMID: 22171826
  • Fujioka N, Nguyen J, Chen C, Li Y, Pasrija T, Niehans G, Johnson KN, Gupta V, Kratzke RA, Gupta K. Morphine-induced epidermal growth factor pathway activation in non-small cell lung cancer. Anesth Analg. 2011 Dec;113(6):1353-64.
  • Mitra R, Guo Z, Milani M, Mesaros C, Rodriguez M, Nguyen J, Luo X, Clarke D, Lamba J, Schuetz E, Donner DB, Puli N, Falck JR, Capdevila J, Gupta K, Blair IA, Potter DA. CYP3A4 mediates growth of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells in part by inducing nuclear translocation of phospho-Stat3 through biosynthesis of (±)-14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET). J Biol Chem. 2011 May 20;286(20):17543-59.
  • Dudek A, Gupta K, Ramakrishnan S, Mukhopadhyay D. Tumor angiogenesis. J Oncol. 2010;2010. pii: 761671. Epub 2010 Sep 19.
  • Bodempudi V, Ohlfest JR, Terai K, Zamora EA, Vogel RI, Gupta K, Hebbel RP, Dudek AZ. Blood outgrowth endothelial cell-based systemic delivery of antiangiogenic gene therapy for solid tumors. Cancer Gene Ther. 2010 Dec;17(12):855-63.
  • Kohli DR, Li Y, Khasabov SG, Gupta P, Kehl LJ, Ericson ME, Nguyen J, Gupta V, Hebbel RP, Simone DA, Gupta K. Pain-related behaviors and neurochemical alterations in mice expressing sickle hemoglobin: modulation by cannabinoids. Blood. 2010 Jul 22;116(3):456-65. Note that Figure 6E from this publication is on the cover of this issue of the journal. An editorial commentary, titled “New era dawns on sickle pain,” is also published in this issue on pages 311-12.
  • Elikkottil J, Gupta P, Gupta K. The analgesic potential of cannabinoids. J Opioid Manag. 2009 Nov-Dec;5(6):341-57. Review. Erratum in: J Opioid Manag. 2010 Jan-Feb;6(1):14.
  • Gupta K, Schwartz R, Gupta P, Hebbel RP. Thrombospondin inhibits VEGF-induced endothelial survival and cell cycle progression. The Open Circulation and Vascular j. 2009; 2, 1-9.
  • Xu J, Liu X, Jiang Y, Hao H, Liu Z, Verfaillie C, Zweier J, *Gupta K and *Liu Z. MAPK/ERK signaling mediates stem cell differentiation into endothelial cells. J Cell Mol Med. 2008 Feb; Epub ahead of print PMID: 18266967 (*Communicating and senior authors)
  • Weber ML, Farooqui M, Nguyen J, Ansonoff M, Pintar JE, Hebbel RP, Gupta K. Morphine induces mesangial cell proliferation and glomerulopathy via kappa-opioid receptors. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2008 Jun;294(6):F1388-97. 
  • Farooqui M, Li Y, Rogers T, Poonawala T, Griffin RJ, Song CW & Gupta K. COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib prevents chronic morphine-induced promotion of angiogenesis, tumor growth, metastasis and mortality, without compromising analgesia. Br J Cancer 2007; 97, 1523-31.
  • Gupta M, Yunfang Li and Gupta K. Opioids as promoters and regulators of angiogenesis. In, Angiogenesis: Basic Science and Clinical Applications. Maragoudakis ME and Papadimitriou E, Eds. Transworld Research Network, 2007, 303-318.
  • Gupta K and Stephenson EJ. Opioid receptors in endothelium. In, Endothelial Biomedicine, William C Aird, Ed. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. Pp 451-460. 2007.
  • Farooqui, M, Stephenson JA, Geng Zhen H, Yee D and Gupta K. Naloxone acts as an antagonist of estrogen receptor in MCF7 cancer cells. Mol Cancer Therap 2006; 5(3): 611-20.
  • Chen C, Farooqui M, Gupta K. Morphine stimulates VEGF-like signaling in mouse retinal endothelial cells. Current Neurovascular Res 2006; 3, 171-180.
  • Gupta K, Kshirsagar S, Schwartz R, Chang L, Law PY, Yee D, Hebbel RP. Morphine stimulates angiogenesis by activating pro-angiogenic and survival-promoting signaling and promotes breast tumor growth. Cancer Res 2002: 62, 4991-8.