Dr. Han-Rong Weng


Assistant Professor

Office: Pharmacy South, Rm 322PS
Voice: (706) 542-8950

Education

Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Lund, Sweden 1996

M.D., Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences, Zhongshan Medical College, China 1983

Research Interests

Chronic pain and hyperalgesia affect hundreds of thousands of Americans who get little or no relief from the limited treatments currently available. Current research in Dr. Weng’s laboratory focuses on the synaptic and molecular mechanisms related the pathogenesis of pain. They are determining neuroplasticity in the spinal dorsal horn in animal pain models induced by nerve injury or inflammation.

Specifically, the Weng laboratory is studying the roles of glial glutamate transporters and proinflammatory cytokines in the plasticity of sensory synapses in the spinal dorsal horn. Multiple cutting edge research techniques are used in Dr. Weng’s laboratory, including cellular physiology, pharmacology, behavior assessment and molecular biology techniques. His work has been published in high-impact journals and supported by the NIH grants.

Grant Support

National Institutes of Health

Selected Publications

Yan X, Maixner DW, Li F, Weng HR.* (2016) AMPKα1 knockout enhances nociceptive behaviors and spinal glutamatergic synaptic activities via production of reactive oxygen species in the spinal dorsal horn. Neuroscien 326:158-69 ).

Alqinyah M, Maganti N, Ali MW, Yadav R, Gao M, Cacan E, Weng HR, Greer SF Hooks SB* (2016) “Regulator of G Protein Signaling 10 (Rgs10) Expression Is Transcriptionally Silenced in Activated Microglia by Histone Deacetylase Activity. Molecular Pharmacology (accepted for publication).

Yan, X., Jiang, E., and Weng, H.R. (2015) Activation of toll like receptor 4 attenuates GABA synthesis and postsynaptic GABA receptor activities in the spinal dorsal horn via releasing interleukin-1 beta. J Neuroinflammation. 12:222.

Yadav, R., Yan, X., Maixner, D. W., Gao, M. and Weng, H.R.* (2015) Blocking the GABA transporter GAT-1 ameliorates spinal GABAergic disinhibition and neuropathic pain induced by paclitaxel. J. Neurochem. (in press).

Maixner, D. W., Yan, X., Yadav, R., Gao, M., Weng, H.R. * (2015) Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase regulates production of interleukin-1beta and glial glutamate transporter function in rodents with neuropathic pain. Anesthesiology (Epub 2015 Feb 23).

Yan, X, Maixner, D.M, Yadav, R., Gao, M., Li, P., S., Bartlett, M., Weng, H.R.*(2015) Paclitaxel induces acute pain via directly activating toll like receptor 4.Molecular Pain (Epub Mar 11, 2015).

Yan, X, Jiang, E. and Weng, H.R*. (2015) Activation of toll like receptor 4 attenuates GABA synthesis and postsynaptic GABA receptor activities in the spinal dorsal horn via releasing interleukin-1 beta. J Neuroinflammation 12(1): 4.

Yan, X., Yadav, R., Gao, M. and Weng, H.R.* (2014) Interleukin-1 beta enhances endocytosis of glial glutamate transporters in the spinal dorsal horn through activating protein kinase C. Glia 62 (7):1093-109.

Weng, H.R.*, Gao, M., Maixner, D. W. (2014) Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta regulates glial glutamate transporter protein expression in the spinal dorsal horn in rats with neuropathic pain. Exp. Neurol. 252C:18-27.

Gao, M, Yan, X. and Weng, H.R.* (2013) Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta activity with lithium prevents and attenuates paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain. Neuroscience, 254: 301-311.

Yan, X. and Weng, H.R.* (2013) Endogenous interleukin-1beta in neuropathic rats enhances glutamate release from the primary afferents in the spinal dorsal horn through coupling with presynaptic NMDA receptors. J Biol Chem288 (42) 30544-30557. (Of note: Selected by the editorial board of JBC to be a Journal of Biological Chemistry “Paper of the Week”, denoting a paper in the top two percent of the all papers reviewed in a year in significance and overall importance.).

Li, P., Albrecht, B.J., Yan, X., Gao, M., Weng, H.R. and Bartlett, M.G. (2013) A Rapid Analytical Method for the Quantification of Paclitaxel in Rat Plasma and Brain Tissue by High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Tandem Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 27(19): 2127-34.

Yan, X., Jiang, E. and Weng, H.R*. (2013) Endogenous activation of presynaptic NMDA receptors enhances glutamate release from the primary afferents in the spinal dorsal horn in a rat model of neuropathic pain. J. Physiology (London) 591(Pt 7): 2001-19.

Jiang, E., Yan, X. and Weng, H.R.* (2012) Glial glutamate transporter and glutamine synthetase regulate GABAergic synaptic strength in the spinal dorsal horn. J. Neurochem.121(4):526-36.

Nie, H., Zhang, H. and Weng, H.R. * (2010) Minocycline prevents impaired glial glutamate uptake in the spinal sensory synapses of neuropathic rats.Neuroscience,170 (3):901-12.

Nie, H., Zhang, H. and Weng, H.R. * (2010) Bidirectional neuron-glia interactions triggered by deficiency of glutamate uptake at spinal sensory synapses. J. Neurophysiol. 104 (2):713-25.

Nie, H. and Weng, H.R. *(2010) Impaired glial glutamate uptake induces extrasynaptic glutamate spillover in the spinal sensory synapses of neuropathic rats. J. Neurophysiol. 103: 2570-2580.

Nie, H. and Weng, H.R. *(2009) Glutamate transporters prevent excessive activation of NMDA receptors and extrasynaptic glutamate spillover in the spinal dorsal horn. J. Neurophysiol. 101: 2041-2051. PMID: 19211657.

Xin, W.J., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2009) Plasticity in expression of the glutamate transporters GLT-1 and GLAST in spinal dorsal horn glial cells following partial sciatic nerve ligation. Molecular Pain 5:15.

Cata, J.P., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2008) Behavioral and electrophysiological studies in rats with cisplatin-induced chemoneuropathy.Brain Res. 2008 16;1230: 91-8.

Cata, J.P., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2008) The effects of thalidomide and minocycline on taxol-induced hyperalgesia in rats. Brain Res. 1229:100-10.

Cata JP, Weng HR, Dougherty PM (2008) Spinal injection of IL-2 or IL-15 alters mechanical and thermal withdrawal thresholds in rats. Neurosci Lett. 437: 45-9.

Cata, J.C., Weng, H.R., J.V., Burton, A.W., Villareal, H., Giralt, S.  and Dougherty, P.M. (2007) Quantitative sensory findings in patients with bortezomib-induced pain. J Pain 8(4): 296-306.

Dougherty, P.M. Cata, J.C., J.V., Burton, A.W., Vu, K. Weng, H.R. (2007) Dysfunction in multiple primary afferent fiber subtypes revealed by quantitative sensory testing in patients with chronic vincristine-induced pain. J Pain and Symptom Management 33: 166-79.

Weng, H.R.*, Chen, J.C., Pan, Z. Z. and Nie, H. (2007) Glial glutamate transporter GLT-1 regulates the spatial and temporal coding of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in spinal lamina II neurons. Neuroscience 149: 898-907.

Aravindan, N., Aravindan, S., Riedel, B.J., Weng, H.R., Shaw A.D. (2007) Furosemide prevents apoptosis and associated gene expression in a rat model of surgical ischemic acute renal failure. Ren Fail. 29(4):399-407.

Weng, H.R.*, Chen, J.C. and Cata, J. P. (2006) Inhibition of glutamate uptake in the spinal cord induces hyperalgesia and increased responses of spinal dorsal horn neurons to peripheral afferent stimulation. Neuroscience 138: 1351-1360.

Cata, J.P., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2006) Altered discharges of wide dynamic range neurons and down-regulation of glutamate transporter expression in rats with paclitaxel-induced hyperalgesia. Neuroscience 138: 326-338.

Weng, H.R.*, Aravindan, N., Cata, J.P., Chen, J.H., Shaw, A.D.S. and Dougherty, P.M. (2005) Spinal glial glutamate transporters downregulate in rats with taxol-induced hyperalgesia. Neuroscience Letters 386: 18-22.

Weng, H.R.* and Dougherty, P.M. (2005) Response properties of dorsal root reflexes in cutaneous C fibers before and after intradermal capsaicin injection in rats. Neuroscience 132: 823-31.

Cata, J.P., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2004) Cyclooxygenase inhibitors and thalidomide ameliorate vincristine-induced hyperalgesia in rats. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 54: 391-397.

Chen, J.H., Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, M.P. (2004) Sensitization of dorsal root reflexes in vitro and hyperalgesia induced by capsaicin in neonatal rats.Neuroscience 126: 743-51.

Dougherty, P.M. Cata, J.C., Cordella, J.V., Burton, A.W., Weng, H.R. (2004) Taxol-induced sensory disturbance is characterized by preferential impairment of myelinated fiber function in cancer patients. Pain 109: 132-142.

Cata, J.P., Cordella, J.V., Burton, A.W., Hassenbusch, S.J., Weng, H.R., Dougherty, P.M. (2004) Spinal cord stimulation relieves chemotherapy-induced pain: a clinical report. J. Pain Symptom Management. 27(1): 72-78.

Weng, H.R. and Cordella, J.V. and  Dougherty, P.M. (2003) Changes in sensory processing in the spinal dorsal horn following vincristine-induced hyperalgesia and allodynia. Pain 103 (1-2): 131-138.

Weng, H.R., Lenz, F.A., Vierck, C. and P. M. Dougherty  (2003) Physiological changes in the primate somatosensory thalamus induced by deafferentation are specific to the spinal funiculi that are sectioned and time following injury.Neuroscience 116(4): 1149-60.

Weng, H.R. and Dougherty, P.M. (2002) Tuning of membrane potentials regulates silent receptive fields in dorsal horn neurons. Experimental Neurology 175(1): 209-215.

Anseloni, V.C.Z., Weng, H.R., Terayama, R, Letizia, D., Davis, B.J., Ren, K., Dubner, R. and Ennis, M. (2002)  Age-dependency of analgesia elicited by intraoral sucrose in acute and persistent pain models. Pain 97(1-2): 93-103.

Weng, H.R. , Mansikka, H., Winchurch, R., Raja, S. N. and Dougherty, P. M. (2001) Sensory processing in the deep spinal dorsal horn of NK1 receptor knockout mice. Anesthesiology 94 (6): 1065-1069.

Weng, H.R., Lee, J. I., Lenz, F.A., Schwartz, A., Vierck, C. and P. M. Dougherty  (2000) Physiological changes in the primate somatosensory thalamus following chronic lesion of the ventral lateral spinal cord. Neuroscience 101 (2): 393-401.

Weng, H.R., Laird,  J. M.A., Cervero, F. and Schouenborg, J. (1998)  GABAAreceptor blockade inhibits Ab fiber evoked wind-up in the arthritic rat.Neuroreport 9: 1065-1069.

Weng, H.R. and Schouenborg, J.  (1998)  On the cutaneous receptors contributing to  withdrawal reflex pathways in the rat. Expt. Brain Res. 118: 71-77.

Holmberg, H., Schouenborg, J., Yu, Y.-B. and Weng, H.R. (1997)  Developmental adaptation of rat nociceptive withdrawal reflexes after neonatal tendon transfer. J. Neuroscience, 17: 206-2078.

Weng, H.R. and Schouenborg, J. (1996)  Cutaneous inhibitory receptive fields of withdrawal reflexes in the decerebrate spinal rat. J. Physiol. (London), 493: 253-265.

Weng, H.R. and Schouenborg, J. (1996)  Nociceptive inhibition of withdrawal reflex responses increases over time in spinalized rats. Neuroreport, 7: 1310-1314.

Schouenborg, J., Weng, H.R., Kalliomäki, J. and Holmberg, H. (1995)  A survey of spinal dorsal horn neurones encoding the spatial organization of withdrawal reflexes in the rat.  Expt. Brain Res., 106: 19-27.

Schouenborg, J. and Weng, H.R. (1994)  Sensorimotor transformation in a spinal motor system.  Expt. Brain Res., 100:170-174.

Kalliomaki, J., Weng, H.R., Nilsson, J. and Schouenborg, J. (1993)  Nociceptive C fibre input to the primary somatosensory cortex (SI).  A field potential study in the rat.  Brain Res., 622: 262-270.

Kalliomaki, J., Weng, H.R., Nilsson, J. Yu, Y.-B. and Schouenborg, J. (1993)  Multiple pathways mediate cutaneous nociceptive C fibre input to the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in the rat.  Brain Res., 622: 271-279.

Schouenborg, J., Holmberg, H. and Weng, H.R. (1992) Functional organization of the nociceptive withdrawal reflexes. II. Changes of excitability and receptive fields after spinalization in the rat.  Expt. Brain Res., 90: 469-478.

Weng, H.R. and Chen, P.-X. (1988)  Spinal cord pathways mediating somatosensory cortical electrical responses evoked by C-fibre inputs.  Acta Physiologica Sinica, 40: 374-378.

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