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Dr Fiona Holmes

Mechanisms of neuropathic pain

My main area of interest is to further understand the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain by studying the roles of factors that are differentially regulated in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) following peripheral nerve damage. After injury to peripheral nerves there are changes in the expression of many factors - both in sensory neurons and non-neuronal cells (e.g. satellite glia and macrophages), that may contribute to the adaptive or maladaptive responses of the peripheral nervous sytem to injury, by modulating neuronal survival, regeneration and pain. I am particularly interested in the roles of chemokines, specifically CX3CL1, and the neuropeptide galanin.

Research keywords

  • Neuropathic pain
  • dorsal root ganglia
  • sensory neurons
  • glia
  • chemokines
  • galanin

Diseases related to this field of research

  • Chronic pain
  • diabetic neuropathy

Processes and functions relevant to this work

  • Pain
  • regeneration
  • neuroprotection

Equipment relevant to this work

  • Upright and inverted fluorescent microscopes
  • cryostat
  • von Frey hairs and Hargreaves apparatus

Research findings

  • CX3CL1 is involved in the modulation of pain after peripheral nerve injury.
  • The up-regulation of galanin after peripheral nerve injury is anti-nociceptive.
  • Galanin plays a trophic role to sensory neurons, both during development and after nerve injury, by promoting neuronal survival and regeneration.  



  • David Wynick
  • Sally Hobson
  • Niall Kerr