Kenneth Miller, Ph.D., OSU-CHS professor and chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology, was awarded a three-year $135,000 grant from the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology to study the possible causes of colitis.
His research will examine the effects of glutamate on inflammation in the colon and how nerve cells are changed as a result. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system but the production and degradation of glutamate in the peripheral nervous system is poorly understood.
Miller said the study could be important for the development of novel therapies for patients with colitis pain by regulating glutamate in the colon. His previous research suggests that peripheral inhibition of glutaminase provides long-lasting pain relief in animals with chronic inflammation.