Yalda Moayedi

Yalda Moayedi

Research Interest

The somatosensory system transduces a diverse array of external and internal stimuli including force, temperature, and chemicals. Our lab is interested in understanding the basic biology of the somatosensory neurons that innervate the oral cavity and upper airway, and how they contribute to orally-guided functions such as flavor perception, feeding, and speech. Understanding this fundamental biology has far-reaching implications for developing new treatments for diseases of orofacial neurons including dysphagia, dysphonia, and cranial neuropathies. To this end, we use a combination of molecular biology, anatomical methods, in vivo and ex vivo functional imaging, and rodent behavior.

Our lab utilizes both the mouse model system and human subjects to determine the roles of oral and upper airway innervating somatosensory neurons in everyday tasks. Our recent work identified that both anatomically and physiologically, lingual mechanoreceptors are distinct from those that innervate most other body sites, suggesting that oral sensory neurons may use different methods for mechanotransduction than those of the cutaneous system. Furthermore, work by us and others find that in both the mouth and throat, sensory neurons show age-related alterations in density and morphology that may impact function.

The ongoing research interests of the lab include: 1) Determining the contributions of mechanosensory neuron subpopulations in the perception of force and texture by the tongue and the mechanisms of mechanotransduction in these neurons, 2) Understanding how dysfunctions of oral somatosensory neurons contribute to pain, 3) Identifying the roles of upper airway somatosensory neurons in swallowing and airway defense, 4) Defining the roles of oral somatosensory neurons in mouthfeel.

Cole C.L., V.X. Yu, S. Perry, A. Seenauth, E.A. Lumpkin, M.S. Troche, M.J. Pitman, Y. Moayedi. Healthy Human Adult Laryngopharyngeal Sensory Innervation Density Correlates with Age.  The Laryngoscope (2022) Jul 16. doi: 10.1002/lary.30287.

Moayedi Y., S. Xu, S.K. Obayashi, B.U. Hoffman, G.J. Gerling, E.A. Lumpkin. Molecular and Functional Diversity of Tongue-Innervating Trigeminal Neurons. bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2022.02.11.480171; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.11.480171.

Moayedi Y*., S. Michlig, M. Park, A. Koch, E.A. Lumpkin*. Localization of TRP channels in healthy oral mucosa from human donors. BioRXIV [Preprint]. 2021 June 02; 446798. doi: 10.1101/2021.06.02.446798. *Joint-senior author.

Moayedi Y*., S. Michlig, M. Park, A. Koch, E.A. Lumpkin*. Somatosensory innervation of healthy human oral tissues. J Comp Neurol (2021) Mar 31. *Joint-senior author.

Moayedi Y., M.J. Pitman, J.C. de Nooij. Airway Protection—A Role for Vagal P2RY1 Receptors. Cell (2020) Apr 30;181(3):509-511.

Moayedi, Y., S. Greenberg, B. A. Jenkins, K. L. Marshall, D. M. Owens and E. A. Lumpkin. Camphor oil induces tumor regression through cytotoxic T cell-dependent mechanisms.  Mol Carcinog (2018) Dec 23.

Moayedi, Y., L. Duenas-Bianchi and E. A. Lumpkin.  Somatosensory innervation of the oral mucosa of adult and aging mice. Scientific Reports. (2018)8(1):9975.

Moayedi Y, M. Nakatani, and E.A. Lumpkin. Mammalian Mechanoreception.  T.J. Prescott, E. Ahissar, E. Izhikevich, eds. In Scholarpedia of Touch, 1st Edition. Atlantis Press; 2015. p. 423-436.

Moayedi Y, M.L. Basch, N.L. Pacheco, S.S. Gao, R. Wang, W. Harrison, N. Xiao, J.S. Oghalai, P.A. Overbeek, G. Mardon¶, and A.K. Groves¶. The candidate splicing factor Sfswap regulates growth and patterning of inner ear sensory organs. PLoS Genet. (2014) 10(1).