C Moore Headshot
Primary Investigator
Assistant Professor in Neurology
Assistant Professor in Pathology
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

My lab studies the sensory neurobiology of pain with a focus on calcium-mediated signaling. Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels have been implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine, a neurological disorder with incapacitating episodic headaches. Ca2+-permeable TRP ion channels have been shown to function in many diverse physiological processes including inflammation and pain. TRP ion channels are expressed and function in trigeminal (TG) sensory neurons, in keratinocytes (KCs) and in mast cells. My research agenda include how TRP ion channels in skin keratinocytes and mast cells regulate the secretion of inflammatory mediators onto nerve cells resulting in inflammation and pain. The underappreciated cross-talk between TG neurons and innervated non-neural cells, skin KCs and meningeal mast cells will benefit from increased scrutiny.

To better understand chronic, pathological pain at the organismal level, we use genetic rodent models. Our approaches include behavioral, structural, and molecular studies and advanced imaging. Migraine is the most common neurological disorder and affects >20% of women and 3-5% of men. For a significant number of migraineurs the onset occurs during their teenage years, and they continue to suffer thereafter, so that migraine’s impact affects migraineurs during their peak productive years and during a decisive period of their lives.

Widespread therapeutic use of onabotulinum toxin-A (botox) has exerted a powerful impact on migraine. However, botox’s mechanism of action on the trigeminal sensory system remains elusive.  In relation to migraine we study how Botox work in the regulation of TRP channels in trigeminal sensory neurons to prevent/treat migraine.

Our Research

Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels have been implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine, a neurological disorder with incapacitating episodic headaches. Ca2+-permeable TRP ion channels have been shown to function in many diverse physiological processes including inflammation and pain. TRP ion channels are expressed and function in trigeminal (TG) sensory neurons, in keratinocytes (KCs) and in mast cells. My research agenda includes how TRP ion channels in skin keratinocytes and mast cells regulate the secretion of inflammatory mediators onto nerve cells resulting in inflammation and pain. The underappreciated cross-talk between TG neurons and innervated non-neural cells, skin KCs and meningeal mast cells will benefit from increased scrutiny.

To better understand chronic, pathological pain at the organismal level, we use genetic rodent models. Our approaches include behavioral, structural, and molecular studies and advanced imaging. Migraine is the most common neurological disorder and affects >20% of women and 3-5% of men. For a significant number of migraineurs the onset occurs during their teenage years, and they continue to suffer thereafter, so that migraine’s impact affects migraineurs during their peak productive years and during a decisive period of their lives.

Widespread therapeutic use of onabotulinum toxin-A (botox) has exerted a powerful impact on migraine. However, botox’s mechanism of action on the trigeminal sensory system remains elusive.  In relation to migraine we study how Botox work in the regulation of TRP channels in trigeminal sensory neurons to prevent/treat migraine.

Publications

Chen Y, Wang ZL, Yeo M, Zhang QJ, López-Romero AE, Ding HP, Zhang X, Zeng Q, Morales-Lázaro SL, Moore C, Jin YA, Morstein J, Bortsov A, Krawczyk M, Lammert F, Abdelmalek M, Diehl AM, Milkiewicz P, Kremer AE, Zhang JY, Nackley A, Reeves TE, Ko MC, Ji RR, Rosenbaum T, Liedtke W. Epithelia-Sensory Neuron Cross Talk Underlies Cholestatic Itch Induced by Lysophosphatidylcholine. Gastroenterology. 2021 Jul;161(1):301-317.e16. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.049. Epub 2021 Apr 2. PMID: 33819485

Moore C, Gupta R, Jordt SE, Chen Y, Liedtke WB. Regulation of Pain and Itch by TRP Channels. Neuroscience Bulletin. 2018 Feb;34(1):120-142. doi: 10.1007/s12264-017-0200-8. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Chen Y, Moore CD, Zhang JY, Hall RP 3rd, MacLeod AS, Liedtke W. TRPV4 Moves toward Center-Fold in Rosacea Pathogenesis. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2017 Apr;137(4):801-804. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.12.013. PMID: 28340683 

Chen Y, Kanju P, Fang Q, Lee SH, Parekh PK, Lee W, Moore C, Brenner D, Gereau RW 4th, Wang F, Liedtke W. TRPV4 is necessary for trigeminal irritant pain and functions as a cellular formalin receptor. Pain. 2014 Dec;155(12):2662-2672. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.09.033. Epub 2014 Oct 2. PMID: 25281928

Moore C, Cevikbas F, Pasolli HA, Chen Y, Kong W, Kempkes C, Parekh P, Lee SH, Kontchou NA, Yeh I, Jokerst NM, Fuchs E, Steinhoff M, Liedtke WB.UVB radiation generates sunburn pain and affects skin by activating epidermal TRPV4 ion channels and triggering endothelin-1 signaling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, U.S.A. 2013 Aug 20;110(34):E3225-34. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1312933110. Epub 2013 Aug 8. PMID: 23929777 

Our Team

Gene Moon

Undergraduate independent study student
Gene Moon is an undergraduate student working in the lab of Carlene Moore, PhD, who recently received a fellowship to continue his research throughout the summer of 2021. Moon talks to us about his work culturing trigeminal nerve cells and performing Western blots and how it may help us understand more about potential therapies for migraines. He also shares how he decided to study neuroscience at Duke, his hopes for taking time to learn about our health system before starting medical school, and looking forward to trying restaurants and new cuisines ones the COVID-19 pandemic is over.