Jason McDougall  

Jason J. McDougall, PhD

Departments of Pharmacology and Anesthesia,
Pain Management & Perioperative Medicine,
Dalhousie University

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Tel: (902) 494-4066


Understanding and treating arthritis pain

Dr. Jason McDougall's research is focused on a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind arthritis pain. Far from being a disease solely of "wear and tear" of the joints, Dr. McDougall and his colleagues are finding that arthritis also involves the nervous and immune systems in complex chains of events that initiate and perpetuate damage and pain. This more sophisticated understanding of arthritis is paving the way to new therapeutic approaches. Dr. McDougall is currently investigating:

  • the role of the nervous system and various neuropeptides in the development of inflammation, pain and destruction of joint tissues
  • how the body's endocannabinoid system functions to relieve arthritis pain naturally, and how cannabinoids and opioids can best be used to control joint pain
  • the potential of topical analgesics containing THC-free synthetic cannabinoids to deliver local pain relief with no psychotropic side-effects
  • the relationship between proteases, protease-activated receptors (PARS) and cytokines in mediating arthritis pain
  • the role of parasitic infections in modulating inflammation of the joints

Dr. Jason McDougall collaborates with a numerous basic science and clinical colleagues internationally and through AMAP and the Dalhousie Pain Group. He is a noted expert on neuropathic aspects of arthritis pain and the use of cannabis in treating various kinds of chronic pain.

Academic background

Jason McDougall completed undergraduate and doctoral degrees in physiology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland before coming to Canada in 1996 as a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Calgary's McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research. Upon completing this fellowship, Dr. McDougall went back to Europe, completing further postdoc training in Germany and then Spain. He then returned to Canada to join the faculty at the University of Calgary in 2001. A stint at Dalhousie as visiting professor in 2009 piqued his interest in the university's collaborative pain and neuroscience research communities, prompting him to make the move east in 2011 to join Dalhousie Medical School's departments of Pharmacology and Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine. Dr. McDougall has an impressive record of peer-reviewed funding and publications, is involved in numerous committees, societies, and boards, and is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings on topics related to arthritis pain, inflammation and new approaches to treatment.

 Selected Publications

Mc Dougall, J.J., Albacete, S., Schülert, N., Mitchell, P.G., Lin, C., Oskins, J.L., Biu, H and Chambers, M.G.(2017), Lysophosphatidic acid provides a missing link between osteoarthritis and joint neuropathic pain., Osteoarthritis & Cartilage

Krustev, E., Muley, M and McDougall, J.J.(2017), Endocannabinoids inhibit neurogenic inflammation inmurine joints by a non-canonical cannabinoid receptor mechanism., Neuropeptides

Muley, M., Reid, A and McDougall, J.J.(2016), Neutrophil elastase-induced inflammation and pain in mouse knee joints via activation of proteinase activated receptor-2., British Journal of Pharmacology.173:667-777.

Borbély, E., Sándor, K., Markovics, A., Kemény, A., Pintér, E., Szolcsányi, J., Quinn, J.P, Mc Dougall, J.J., and Helyes, Z.(2016), Role of capsaicin-sensitive nerves and tac1gene-derived tachykinins in mast cell tryptase-induced inflammation of murine knees, Inflammation Research 65: 725-736.

Botz, B., Brunner, S.M., Kemény, A., Pintér, E., Mc Dougall, J.J., Kofler, B and Helyes, Z.(2016)., Galanin 3 receptor-deficient mice show minor alteration in the oxazolone-induced contact dermatitis phenotype., Experimental Dermatology 25: 725-727.

Botz, B., Kemény, A., Brunner, S.M., Locker, F., Csepregi, J., Mócsai, A., Pintér, E., Mc Dougall, J.J., Kofler, Band Helyes, Z.(2016), Lack of galanin 3 receptor aggravates murine autoimmune arthritis., Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 59: 260-269.

Muley, M., Krustev, E and Mc Dougall, J.J.(2016), Preclinical assessment of inflammatory pain., CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics 22: 88-101.

Lopes, F., Graepel, R., Reyes, J.L., Wang, A., Mc Dougall, J.J., Sharkey, K.A and McKay, D.M.(2016)., Alpha-7 nicotinic receptor agonists exacerbatecomplete Freund’s adjuvant-induced mono-arthritis in mice: involvement of mast cells., Arthritis and Rheumatology 68: 542-552.

Silva, C.R., Oliveira, S.M., Hoffmeister, C., Funck, V., Guerra, G.P., Trevisan, G., Tonello, R., Rossato, M.F., Pesquero, J.B., Bader, M, Oliveira, M.S., McDougall, J.J and Ferreira, J.(2016), The role of bradykinin B1 receptor and the effect of angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibition on acute gout attacks in rodents., Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 75: 260-268.

Fitzcharles, M.A, Ste-Marie, P.A, Häuser, W., Clauw, D.J., Jamal, S., Karsh, J., Landry, T., LeClercq, S., McDougall, J.J., Shir, Y., Shojania, K, and Walsh, Z.(2015), Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoid treatments in the rheumatic diseases: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials., Arthritis Research & Care.68: 681-688.

Krustev, E., Rioux, D and Mc Dougall, J.J.(2015), Mechanisms and mediators that drive arthritis pain., Current Osteoporosis Reports.13: 216-224.

Fitzcharles, M.A, Ste-Marie, P.A, Clauw, D.J., Jamal, S., Karsh, J., LeClercq, S., McDougall, J.J., Shir, Y., Shojania, K, and Walsh, Z.(2014), Rheumatologists lack confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoids pertaining to the management of rheumatic complaints., BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.15: 258-263.

Krustev, E., Reid, A. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2014). Tapping into the endocannabinoid system to ameliorate acute inflammatory flares and associated pain in mouse knee joints. Arthritis Research & Therapy 16: 437-449.

Russell, F.A., Schülert, N., Veldhoen, V.E., and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2012). Activation of PAR2 sensitizes primary afferents and causes leukocyte rolling and adherence in the rat knee joint. British Journal of Pharmacology 167: 1665-1678.

Schülert, N. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2012). Involvement of Nav 1.8 sodium ion channels in the transduction of mechanical pain in a rodent model of osteoarthritis. Arthritis Research & Therapy 14: R5.

Mc Dougall, J.J. (2011). Peripheral analgesia: Hitting pain where it hurts. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: Molecular Basis of Disease. 1812: 459-467.

Schülert, N., Johnson, M.P., Oskins, J.L., Jassal, K., Chambers, M.G. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2011). Local application of the endocannabinoid hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 reduces nociception in spontaneous and chemically-induced models of osteoarthritis. Pain 152: 975-981. - {An editorial review of this paper appeared in Pain}.

Russell, F.A., Zhan, S., Dumas, A., Lagarde, S., Pouliot, M. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2011). The pro-nociceptive effect of proteinase-activated receptor-4 (PAR4) stimulation in rat knee joints is dependent on mast cell activation. Pain 152: 354-360.

Schülert, N., Zhang, C., Mogg, A.J., Broad, L.M., Hepburn, D.L., Nisenbaum, E.S., Johnson, M.P. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2010). Paradoxical effects of the CB2 receptor agonist GW405833 on rat osteoarthritic knee joint pain. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 18: 1536-1543.

Russell, F.A., Veldhoen, V.E., Tchitchkan, D. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2010). Proteinase-activated receptor-4 (PAR4) activation leads to sensitisation of rat joint primary afferents via a bradykinin B2 receptor—dependent mechanism. Journal of Neurophysiology 103: 155-163.

Helyes, Z., Sándor, K., Téku,. V., Pintér, E., Elkes, K., Tóth, D.M., Szolcsányi, J. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2010). Involvement of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors in protease-activated receptor 2-induced joint inflammation and nociception. European Journal of Pain 14: 351-358.

Schülert, N. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2009). Grading of monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis reveals a concentration-dependent sensitization of nociceptors in the knee joint of the rat. Neuroscience Letters 465: 184-188.

Russell, F.A. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2009). Proteinase activated receptor (PAR) involvement in mediating arthritis pain and inflammation. Inflammation Research 58: 119-126.

Mc Dougall, J.J., Andruski, B., Schülert, N., Hallgrimmson, B., and Matyas, J.R. (2009). Unravelling the relationship between age, nociception and joint destruction in naturally occurring osteoarthritis of Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs. Pain 141: 226-236. - {This paper appeared on the front cover of Pain and an editorial review of this paper appeared in the journal. It was also highlighted in Faculty 1000 as an important contribution to the field}.

Mc Dougall, J.J., Zhang, C., Joubert, E., Cellars, L., Dixon, C. and Vergnolle, N. (2009). Triggering of proteinase-activated receptor 4 leads to joint pain and inflammation in mice. Arthritis & Rheumatism 60: 728-737.

Andruski, B., McCafferty, D.M., Ignacy, T., Millen, B. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2008). Leukocyte trafficking and pain behavioural responses to a hydrogen sulphide donor in acute monoarthritis. American Journal of Physiology. 295: R814-R120.

Schülert, N. and Mc Dougall, J.J. (2008). Cannabinoid-mediated anti-nociception is enhanced in rat osteoarthritic knees. Arthritis & Rheumatism 58: 145-153.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 18 April 2017 12:47)