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Neugebauer Research Team - Neurophysiology Core Lab

Dr. Neugebauer Lab data
Brain Mechanisms of Pain and Related Disorders

Amygdala and prefrontal cortical interactions in pain and neuropsychiatric disorders

Electrophysiology in vivo and ex vivo (patch-clamp), optogenetics, live cell imaging, innovative behavioral assays, viral vector and pharmacological strategies are used for the mechanistic analysis of neuroplasticity and nervous system disorders.

Jeremy Thompson discussing research in the March Statline

MD/PhD Student, Jeremy Thompson was recently featured in the March Statline in which he dicusses research in the lab.  To see this article click here.

Current Funding

  • NIH grant R01 NS038261, “Pain, Nociception and the Amygdala” (PI, Dr. Neugebauer)
  • NIH grant R01 NS081121, “Amygdala Serotonin Neurotransmission and Neuropathic Pain” (Contact-PI, Dr. Neugebauer; PI, Dr. Green, UTMB)
  • Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health and University Medical Center LWBIWH/UMC – Research Scholar Award, “Gender differences in Multiple Sclerosis-related pain, correlation with burden of disease, and responsiveness to pain-relieving interventions” (PI, Dr. DeToledo, Co-PI, Dr. Neugebauer)
  • The CH Foundation, "Novel Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain" (PI, Dr. Guindon; Co-PI, Dr. Neugebauer)

Key Publications

Pain mechanisms

Review articles

  • Neugebauer, V. Amygdala pain mechanisms. Handb. Exp. Pharmacol. 227: 261-284, 2015. PMID: 25846623
  • Neugebauer, V., Galhardo, V., Maione, S. and Mackey, S.C. Forebrain Pain Mechanisms. Brain Res. Rev. 60:226-242, 2009. PMID: 19162070. PMCID: PMC2700838.
  • Neugebauer, V. Glutamate receptor ligands. Handb. Exp. Pharmacol. 177:217-249, 2006. PMID: 17087125.
  • Neugebauer, V. Subcortical processing of nociceptive information: basal ganglia and amygdala. In: Cervero, F., Jensen, T.S. (eds) Pain, Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 81. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 141-158, 2006. PMID: 18808833.
  • Neugebauer, V., Li, W., Bird G.C. and Han, J.S. The amygdala and persistent pain. The Neuroscientist 10: 221-234, 2004. PMID: 15155061.

Original research articles

  • Kiritoshi, T., Ji, G.,  and Neugebauer, V. Rescue of impaired mGluR5-driven endocannabinoid signaling restores prefrontal cortical output to inhibit pain in arthritic rats. J. Neurosci. 36:837-850, 2016
  • Thompson, J., Ji., G., and Neugebauer, V. Small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels in the amygdala mediate pain-inhibiting effects of clinically available riluzole in a rat model of arthritis pain. Mol. Pain 11:51-60, 2015. PMID: 26311432. PMC4551697
  • Ji, G. and Neugebauer, V. CB1 augments mGluR5 function in medial prefrontal cortical neurons to inhibit amygdala hyperactivity in an arthritis pain model. Eur. J. Neurosci. 39:455–466, 2014. PMID: 24494685. PMC4288820.
  • Kiritoshi, T., Sun, H., Ren, W., Stauffer, S.R., Lindsley, C.W., Conn, P.J. and Neugebauer, V. Modulation of pyramidal cell output in the medial prefrontal cortex by mGluR5 interacting with CB1. Neuropharmacology 66:170–178, 2013. PMID: 22521499. PMC3568505.
  • Ren, W., Kiritoshi, T., Grégoire, S., Ji, G., Guerrini, R., Calo, G., and Neugebauer, V. Neuropeptide S: a novel regulator of pain-related plasticity in the amygdala and behaviors. J. Neurophysiol. 110:1765-1781, 2013. PMID: 23883857. PMC3798934.
  • Li, Z., Ji, G. and Neugebauer, V. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species are activated by mGluR5 through IP3 and activate ERK and PKA to increase excitability of amygdala neurons and pain behavior. J. Neurosci. 31:1114-1127, 2011. PMID: 21248136. PMC3073477.
  • Ji, G., Sun, H., Fu, Y., Li, Z., Pais-Vieira, M., Galhardo, V. and Neugebauer, V. Cognitive impairment in pain through amygdala-driven prefrontal cortical deactivation. J. Neurosci. 30: 5451–5464, 2010. PMID: 20392966. PMC2868074.
  • Pernía-Andrade, A.J., Kato, A., Witschi, R., Nyilas, R., Katona, I., Freund, T.F., Watanabe, M., Filitz, J., Koppert, W., Schüttler, J., Ji, G., Neugebauer, V., Marsicano, G., Lutz, B., Vanegas, H., Zeilhofer, H.U. Spinal endocannabinoids and CB1 receptors mediate C-fiber-induced heterosynaptic pain plasticity. Science 325:760-764, 2009. [Editor’s Choice, P. R. Stern, Plastic Pain Perception. Sci. Signal. 2, ec269 (2009) and featured in M.J. Christie and C. Mallet, Sci. Signal. 2: ep57 (2009)]. PMID: 19661434. PMC2835775.
  • Ji, G. and Neugebauer, V. Hemispheric lateralization of pain processing in amygdala neurons. J. Neurophysiol. 102:2253-2264, 2009. PMID: 19625541. PMC2776996.
  • Fu, Y. and Neugebauer, V. Differential mechanisms of CRF1 and CRF2 receptor functions in the amygdala in pain-related synaptic facilitation and behavior. J. Neurosci. 28:3861-3876, 2008. PMID: 18400885. PMC2557030.
  • Ji, G. and Neugebauer, V. Pro- and anti-nociceptive effects of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in central amygdala neurons are mediated through different receptors. J. Neurophysiol. 99:1201-1212, 2008. [Evaluated in Faculty of 1000 Biology:]. PMID: 18171711. Accepted before April 8, 2008.
  • Han, J.S., Li, W. and Neugebauer, V. Critical role of CGRP1 receptors in the amygdala in synaptic plasticity and pain behavior. J. Neurosci. 25:10717-10728, 2005. PMID: 16291945.
  • Bird, G.C., Lash, L.L., Han, J.S., Zou, X., Willis, W.D. and Neugebauer, V. PKA-dependent enhanced NMDA receptor function in pain-related synaptic plasticity in amygdala neurons. J. Physiol. 564.3:907–921, 2005. PMID: 15760935. PMC1464474.
  • Neugebauer, V. and Li, W. Differential sensitization of amygdala neurons to afferent inputs in a model of arthritic pain. J. Neurophysiol. 89:716-727, 2003. PMID: 12574449.
  • Neugebauer, V., Li., W., Bird, G.C., Bhave, G. and Gereau, R.W. Synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in a model of arthritic pain: differential roles of metabotropic glutamate receptors 1 and 5. J. Neurosci. 23:52-63, 2003. PMID: 12514201.

Other nervous system disorders

Review articles

  • Apkarian, A.V., Neugebauer, V., Koob, G., Edwards, S., Levine, J.D., Ferrari, L., Egli, M. and Regunathan, S. Neural mechanisms of pain and alcohol dependence. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 112:34–41, 2013. PMID:24095683.
  • Shinnick-Gallagher, P., Keele, N.B. and Neugebauer, V. Long-lasting changes in the pharmacology and electrophysiology of amino acid receptors in amygdala kindled neurons. In: Corcoran, M., Moshe, S. (eds). Kindling 5. Advances in Behavioral Biology Vol. 48. Plenum, New York, pp 75-87, 1998.

Original research articles

  • Martin, Z.S., Neugebauer, V., Dineley, K.T., Kayed, Zhang, W., R., Reese, L.C. and Taglialatela, G. Alpha synuclein oligomers oppose long-term potentiation and impair memory through a calcineurin-dependent mechanism: relevance to human synucleopathic diseases. J. Neurochem. 120:440-452, 2012. PMID: 22060133. PMC3253169.
  • Lasagna-Reeves, C.A., Castillo-Carranza, D.L., Sengupta, U., Guerrero-Munoz, M.J., Kiritoshi, T., Neugebauer, V., Jackson, G.R., Kayed, R. Alzheimer brain-derived tau oligomers propagate pathology from endogenous tau. Sci. Rep. 2:700-706, 2012. PMID: 23050084. PMC3463004.
  • Neugebauer, V., Zinebi, F., Russell, R., Gallagher, J.P. and Shinnick-Gallagher, P. Cocaine and kindling alter the sensitivity of group II and III metabotropic glutamate receptors in the central amygdala. J. Neurophysiol. 84:759-770, 2000. PMID: 10938303.
  • Neugebauer, V., Keele, N.B. and Shinnick-Gallagher, P. Epileptogenesis in vivo enhances the sensitivity of inhibitory presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors in basolateral amygdala neurons in vitro. J. Neurosci. 17:983-995, 1997. PMID: 8994053.


  • Neugebauer, V., Han, J.S., Adwanikar, H., Fu, Y. and Ji, G. Techniques for assessing knee joint pain in arthritis. Mol. Pain 3:8-20, 2007. [Identified as “Highly accessed”].  PMID: 17391515. PMCID: PMC1851005.
  • Ji, G. and Neugebauer, V. Modulation of medial prefrontal cortical activity using in vivo recordings and optogenetics. Mol. Brain 5:36-45, 2012. [Identified as “Highly accessed”]. PMID: 23044043. PMC3565915.
  • Han, J.S., Bird, G.C., Li, W., Jones, J. and Neugebauer, V. Computerized analysis of audible and ultrasonic vocalizations of rats in a model of arthritic pain. J. Neurosci. Meth. 141:261-269, 2005. PMID: 15661308.