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Pain. 2008 Nov 15;140(1):95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2008.07.012. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

A 2A adenosine receptor regulates glia proliferation and pain after peripheral nerve injury.

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  • 1Laboratori de Neuropharmacologia, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.


Peripheral nerve injury produces a persistent neuropathic pain state characterized by spontaneous pain, allodynia and hyperalgesia. In this study, we evaluated the possible involvement of A 2ARs in the development of neuropathic pain and the expression of microglia and astrocytes in the spinal cord after sciatic nerve injury. For this purpose, partial ligation of the sciatic nerve was performed in A 2A knockout mice and wild-type littermates. The development of mechanical and thermal allodynia, as well as thermal hyperalgesia was evaluated by using the von Frey filament model, the cold-plate test and the plantar test, respectively. In wild-type animals, sciatic nerve injury led to a neuropathic pain syndrome that was revealed in these three nociceptive behavioural tests. However, a significant decrease of the mechanical allodynia and a suppression of thermal hyperalgesia and allodynia were observed in A 2AR deficient mice. The expression of microglia and astrocytes was enhanced in wild-type mice exposed to sciatic nerve injury and this response was attenuated in knockout animals. Taken together, our results demonstrate the involvement of A 2ARs in the control of neuropathic pain and propose this receptor as an interesting target for the development of new drugs for the management of this clinical syndrome.

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