Ellen A Lumpkin's research while affiliated with Columbia University and other places

Publications (100)

Article
Full-text available
Touch is a powerful communication tool, but we have a limited understanding of the role played by particular physical features of interpersonal touch communication. In this study, adults living in Sweden performed a task in which messages (attention, love, happiness, calming, sadness, and gratitude) were conveyed by a sender touching the forearm of...
Article
Objective: Somatosensory feedback from upper airway structures is essential for swallowing and airway defense but little is known about the identities and distributions of human upper airway neurons. Furthermore, whether sensory innervation modifies with aging is unknown. In this study, we quantify neuronal and chemosensory cell density in upper a...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Modulation of peripheral nervous system (PNS) activity has shown promise in treating a wide range of diseases, from epilepsy to rheumatoid arthritis. Clinically, stimulation of nerves is most commonly delivered through invasive and risk-laden surgical electrode placement. Noninvasive technologies for PNS modulation can both increase sa...
Preprint
Mechanosensory neurons in the mouth provide essential information to guide feeding and speech. How classes of oral mechanoreceptors contribute to oral behaviors is not well understood; in particular, the functional properties of lingual mechanoreceptors remain elusive. Previous work identified putative mechanosensory endings in the tongue with nove...
Preprint
Full-text available
Touch is a powerful communication tool, but we have a limited understanding of the role played by particular physical features of interpersonal touch communication. In this study, adults living in Sweden performed a task in which messages (attention, love, happiness, calming, sadness and gratitude) were conveyed by a sender touching the forearm of...
Article
The cover image is based on the Research Article Somatosensory innervation of healthy human oral tissues by Yalda Moayedi et al., https://doi.org/10.1002/cne.25148.
Article
Full-text available
Atopic dermatitis (AD), driven by interleukins (IL‐4/IL‐13), is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by intensive pruritus. However, it is unclear how immune signaling and sensory response pathways cross talk with each other. We differentiated itch sensory neuron‐like cells (ISNLCs) from iPSC lines. These ISNLCs displayed neural marker...
Preprint
The oral cavity is exposed to a remarkable range of noxious and innocuous conditions, including temperature fluctuations, mechanical forces, inflammation and environmental and endogenous chemicals. How such changes in the oral environment are sensed by oral cells and tissues is not completely understood. Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion chann...
Article
The oral somatosensory system relays essential information about mechanical stimuli to enable oral functions such as feeding and speech. The neurochemical and anatomical diversity of sensory neurons across oral cavity sites have not been systematically compared. To address this gap, we analyzed healthy human tongue and hard palate innervation. Biop...
Preprint
The oral somatosensory system relays essential information about mechanical stimuli to enable oral functions such as feeding and speech. The neurochemical and anatomical diversity of sensory neurons across oral cavity sites have not been systematically compared. To address this gap, we analyzed healthy human tongue and hard palate innervation. Biop...
Article
Unrelieved pain is a widespread condition that fuels the opioid crisis. Molecules that initiate painful sensations are intensively sought as therapeutic targets for improved pain interventions. In this issue of Cell, Beaulieu-Laroche et al. (2020) describe TACAN, a putative ion channel that mediates mechanical pain in mice.
Article
Small-diameter vesicular glutamate transporter 3-lineage (Vglut3lineage) dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons play an important role in mechanosensation and thermal hypersensitivity; however, little is known about their intrinsic electrical properties. We therefore set out to investigate mechanisms of excitability within this population. Calcium micr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small-diameter vesicular glutamate transporter 3-lineage (Vglut3 lineage ) dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons play an important role in mechanosensation and thermal hypersensitivity; however, little is known about their intrinsic electrical properties. We therefore set out to investigate mechanisms of excitability within this population. Calcium mi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Inter-personal touch is a powerful aspect of social interaction that we expect to be particularly important for emotional communication. We studied the capacity of closely acquainted humans to signal the meaning of several word cues (e.g. gratitude, sadness) using touch sensation alone. Participants communicated all cues with above chance performan...
Article
Touch sensation is initiated by mechanosensory neurons that innervate distinct skin structures; however, little is known about how these neurons are patterned during mammalian skin development. We explored the cellular basis of touch-receptor patterning in mouse touch domes, which contain mechanosensory Merkel cell-neurite complexes and abut primar...
Article
Bioactive derivatives from the camphor laurel tree, Cinnamomum camphora, are posited to exhibit chemopreventive properties but the efficacy and mechanism of these natural products are not fully understood. We tested an essential‐oil derivative, camphor white oil (CWO), for anti‐tumor activity in a mouse model of keratinocyte‐derived skin cancer. Da...
Article
Epithelial-neuronal signaling is essential for sensory encoding in touch, itch, and nociception; however, little is known about the release mechanisms and neurotransmitter receptors through which skin cells govern neuronal excitability. Merkel cells are mechanosensory epidermal cells that have long been proposed to activate neuronal afferents throu...
Preprint
Bioactive derivatives from the camphor laurel tree, Cinnamomum camphora , are posited to exhibit chemopreventive properties but the efficacy and mechanism of these natural products have not been established. We tested an essential-oil derivative, camphor white oil (CWO), for anti-tumor activity in a mouse model of keratinocyte-derived skin cancer....
Article
Full-text available
Oral mechanoreception is implicated in fundamental functions including speech, food intake and swallowing; yet, the neuroanatomical substrates that encode mechanical stimuli are not well understood. Tactile perception is initiated by intricate mechanosensitive machinery involving dedicated cells and neurons. This signal transduction setup is couple...
Data
Model produced instantaneous firing frequencies under a parameter sweep with computational model, low magnitude of stimulation, wildtype case. Panels A—C show IFFs when the generator function is run in the context of the entire end organ model. These correspond to the parameter modifications to generate the currents in Fig 3, panels D—F. The tau va...
Article
Full-text available
Distinct firing properties among touch receptors are influenced by multiple, interworking anatomical structures. Our understanding of the functions and crosstalk of Merkel cells and their associated neurites—the end organs of slowly adapting type I (SAI) afferents—remains incomplete. Piezo2 mechanically activated channels are required both in Merke...
Data
Time course of IFF decay observed in neural recordings cannot be achieved by skin viscoelasticity alone in absence of USI current. In Panel A, three computational simulations were run where the skin’s viscoelasticity was varied by changing G∞ from 0.81, 0.35, and 0.10 for a 418 micron thick skin in the finite element model. The range of relaxation...
Data
To accompany the low magnitude stimulus example in Fig 3C, shown here is the high magnitude stimulus case, likewise showing the need for the USI component. Without the USI component, the output IFF reaches a plateau and does not adapt as is typically observed for SAI afferents. (TIF)
Data
The parameters τSI and τRI, respectively, of the generator function are fitted from recording data. In particular, panel (A) shows a characteristic trace of in vitro Merkel cell membrane potential over time under a current clamped prep, delivered a step mechanical stimulus at about 88% of the saturation threshold, and panel (B) shows a characterist...
Data
Endogenous S1P mediates acute mechanical pain. Related to Figure 2.
Data
S1PR3 modulates KCNQ2/3 channels to regulate AM excitability. Related to Figure 5.
Data
Co-ISH quantification for sectioned DRG from adult wild-type mice. Related to Figure 3.
Article
Full-text available
Somatosensory neurons mediate responses to diverse mechanical stimuli, from innocuous touch to noxious pain. While recent studies have identified distinct populations of A mechanonociceptors (AMs) that are required for mechanical pain, the molecular underpinnings of mechanonociception remain unknown. Here, we show that the bioactive lipid sphingosi...
Data
S1PR3 mediates acute mechanical pain. Related to Figure 1.
Data
S1PR3 is required for nociceptive responses of high-threshold AM nociceptors. Related to Figure 6. Table provides properties of all S1PR3 HET and KO AM fibers that were recorded.
Data
S1PR3 is dispensable for development of chronic mechanical hypersensitivity. Related to Figure 7.
Preprint
Full-text available
Somatosensory neurons mediate responses to diverse mechanical stimuli, from innocuous touch to noxious pain. While recent studies have identified distinct populations of A mechanonociceptors (AMs) that are required for mechanical pain, the molecular underpinnings of mechanonociception remain unknown. Here, we show that the bioactive lipid sphingosi...
Preprint
Background The epidermis is a stratified epithelium whose differentiation program is triggered in part by calcium. Dysregulation of keratinocyte differentiation may lead to non-melanoma skin cancers, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). The compound 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) modulates calcium signaling by altering activity...
Article
The sensation of touch is mediated by mechanosensory neurons that are embedded in skin and relay signals from the periphery to the central nervous system. During embryogenesis, axons elongate from these neurons to make contact with the developing skin. Concurrently, the epithelium of skin transforms from a homogeneous tissue into a heterogeneous or...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory tissues exposed to the environment, such as skin, olfactory epithelia, and taste buds, continuously renew; therefore, peripheral neurons must have mechanisms to maintain appropriate innervation patterns. Although somatosensory neurons regenerate after injury, little is known about how these neurons cope with normal target organ changes. To...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter reviews our current understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of sensory transduction and neurotransmission in mammalian tactile afferents. Recent advances from in vitro studies and rodent models have provided important insights into the cell biology of tactile afferents. The chapter covers fundamental mechanisms of mechanotran...
Article
Distinct patterns in neuronal firing are observed between classes of cutaneous afferents. Such differences may be attributed to end organ morphology, distinct ion-channel complements, and skin microstructure, among other factors. Even for just the slowly adapting type I afferent, the skin’s mechanics for a particular specimen might impact the affer...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Distinct patterns in neuronal firing are observed between classes of cutaneous afferents. Similarly, differences in sensitivity are observed within a class of afferents, e.g., slowly adapting type I afferents. Given the dramatic changes in skin thickness and elasticity that are observed in the mouse due to normal skin remodeling, one could speculat...
Article
An assortment of touch receptors innervate the skin and encode different tactile features of the environment. Compared with invertebrate touch and other sensory systems, our understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of mammalian touch lags behind. Two recent breakthroughs have accelerated progress. First, an arsenal of cell-type-spe...
Article
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Flight maneuvers require rapid sensory integration to generate adaptive motor output. Bats achieve remarkable agility with modified forelimbs that serve as airfoils while retaining capacity for object manipulation. Wing sensory inputs provide behaviorally relevant information to guide flight; however, components of wing sensory-motor circuits have...
Article
Full-text available
Although the skin's mechanical properties are well characterized in tension, little work has been done in compression. Here, the viscoelastic properties of a population of mouse skin specimens (139 samples from 36 mice, aged 5 to 34 weeks) were characterized upon varying specimen thickness, as well as strain level and rate. Over the population, we...
Article
Mechanotransduction, the conversion of mechanical stimuli into biochemical or electrical signals within cells, is necessary for many aspects of development, homeostasis and sensation (Chalfie, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 10: 44–52, 2009).
Article
The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitiv...
Article
Full-text available
The cellular and molecular basis of vertebrate touch reception remains least understood among the traditional five senses. Somatosensory afferents that innervate the skin encode distinct tactile qualities, such as flutter, slip, and pressure. Gentle touch is thought to be transduced by somatosensory afferents whose tactile end organs selectively fi...
Article
Our skin is the furthest outpost of the nervous system and a primary sensor for harmful and innocuous external stimuli. As a multifunctional sensory organ, the skin manifests a diverse and highly specialized array of mechanosensitive neurons with complex terminals, or end organs, which are able to discriminate different sensory stimuli and encode t...
Article
Full-text available
How we sense touch remains fundamentally unknown. The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a gentle touch receptor in the skin that mediates slowly adapting responses of Aβ sensory fibres to encode fine details of objects. This mechanoreceptor complex was recognized to have an essential role in sensing gentle touch nearly 50 years ago. However, whether M...
Article
Full-text available
Touch submodalities, such as flutter and pressure, are mediated by somatosensory afferents whose terminal specializations extract tactile features and encode them as action potential trains with unique activity patterns. Whether non-neuronal cells tune touch receptors through active or passive mechanisms is debated. Terminal specializations are tho...
Article
Merkel cell-neurite complexes are gentle touch receptors that mediate slowly adapting type I (SAI) responses. Since their description in 1875, Merkel cells have been proposed to be mechanosensory cells that transduce mechanical stimuli into electrical signals that activate somatosensory neurons. Consistent with this model, conditional knockout mice...
Article
Full-text available
The skin is a dynamic organ whose complex material properties are capable of withstanding continuous mechanical stress while accommodating insults and organism growth. Moreover, synchronized hair cycles, comprising waves of hair growth, regression and rest, are accompanied by dramatic fluctuations in skin thickness in mice. Whether such structural...
Article
Chronic itch is a debilitating condition that affects one in 10 people. Little is known about the molecules that mediate chronic itch in primary sensory neurons and skin. We demonstrate that the ion channel TRPA1 is required for chronic itch. Using a mouse model of chronic itch, we show that scratching evoked by impaired skin barrier is abolished i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The neural response to touch stimuli is influenced by skin properties as well as the delivery of stimuli. Here, we compare stimuli controlled by displacement and force, and analyze the impact on firing rates of slowly adapting type I afferents as skin thickness and elasticity change. Uniaxial compression tests were used to measure the mechanical pr...
Article
Full-text available
Merkel cells are an enigmatic group of rare cells found in the skin of vertebrates. Most make contacts with somatosensory afferents to form Merkel cell-neurite complexes, which are gentle-touch receptors that initiate slowly adapting type I responses. The function of Merkel cells within the complex remains debated despite decades of research. Numer...
Article
Full-text available
Background The next generation of prosthetic limbs will restore sensory feedback to the nervous system by mimicking how skin mechanoreceptors, innervated by afferents, produce trains of action potentials in response to compressive stimuli. Prior work has addressed building sensors within skin substitutes for robotics, modeling skin mechanics and ne...
Article
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The piloneural collar in mammalian hairy skin comprises an intricate pattern of circumferential and longitudinal sensory afferents that innervate primary and secondary pelage hairs. The longitudinal afferents tightly associate with terminal Schwann cell processes to form encapsulated lanceolate nerve endings of rapidly adapting mechanoreceptors. Th...
Article
Multiple senses, including hearing, touch and osmotic regulation, require the ability to convert force into an electrical signal: A process called mechanotransduction. Mechanotransduction occurs through specialized proteins that open an ion channel pore in response to a mechanical stimulus. Many of these proteins remain unidentified in vertebrates,...
Article
Degenerin/epithelial sodium channels (DEG/ENaCs) are luminaries of gentle touch in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this issue of Neuron, Geffeney et al. demonstrate that eponymous DEG-1 channels carry mechanotransduction currents in a polymodal neuron, where they act upstream of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels.
Article
Humans rely on our sense of touch for a broad range of essential behaviors, such as feeding, successful child rearing, and avoiding bodily harm. Although widely regarded as one of the five basic senses, touch is a complex sense that encompasses numerous modalities, including stretch, pressure, and
Article
Full-text available
Epithelial stem cells in adult mammalian skin are known to maintain epidermal, follicular and sebaceous lineages during homeostasis. Recently, Merkel cell mechanoreceptors were identified as a fourth lineage derived from the proliferative layer of murine skin epithelium; however, the location of the stem or progenitor population for Merkel cells re...