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Amy McNulty

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery & Pathology
(919) 684-6882
Research Interest: 
Cell biophysics
Signal transduction
Research Summary: 
Development of strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. Understanding the mechanotransduction pathways that modulate cartilage and meniscus homeostasis and how these signaling pathways are altered with aging and pathology to reveal potential targets to prevent joint tissue degeneration and osteoarthritis.
Research Description: 

The long-term goals of the McNulty Lab are to develop strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and to promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. In order to achieve these goals, we need to understand the mechanisms necessary for tissue repair and regeneration and how they are altered with aging and joint injury. Specifically, Dr. McNulty's lab is working to enhance the integrative repair of meniscus to restore meniscal function and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis development. The lab has identified IL-1 and TNF as inhibitors of integrative meniscal repair and are developing novel methods to suppress inflammation and the downstream mediators of these cytokines to promote tissue repair. Furthermore, Dr. McNulty and her team are working to understand the pathways that are activated by normal and injurious mechanical loading of joint tissues and how these mechanotransduction pathways are altered during aging. A greater understanding of alterations in mechanosensitive signaling mechanisms with aging and injury will likely reveal potential targets to prevent tissue degeneration and osteoarthritis.

Matrix metalloproteinase activity and prostaglandin E2 are elevated in the synovial fluid of meniscus tear patients.
Liu B, Goode AP, Carter TE, Utturkar GM, Huebner JL, Taylor DC, Moorman Iii CT, Garrett WE, Kraus VB, Guilak F, DeFrate LE, McNulty AL.
Connect Tissue Res. 2016. :1-12.

Cartilage-Specific Knockout of the Mechanosensory Ion Channel TRPV4 Decreases Age-Related Osteoarthritis.
O'Conor CJ, Ramalingam S, Zelenski NA, Benefield HC, Rigo I, Little D, Wu CL, Chen D, Liedtke W, McNulty AL, Guilak F.
Sci Rep. 2016. 6:29053.

Mechanobiology of the meniscus.
McNulty AL, Guilak F.
J Biomech. 2015. 48:1469-78.

Interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and transforming growth factor-beta 1 and integrative meniscal repair: influences on meniscal cell proliferation and migration.
Riera KM, Rothfusz NE, Wilusz RE, Weinberg JB, Guilak F, McNulty AL.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2011. 13:R187.

Dynamic loading enhances integrative meniscal repair in the presence of interleukin-1.
McNulty AL, Estes BT, Wilusz RE, Weinberg JB, Guilak F.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010. 18:830-8.