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Exp Neurol. 2014 Aug;258:48-61. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.02.001.

Neuroinflammatory contributions to pain after SCI: roles for central glial mechanisms and nociceptor-mediated host defense.

Author information

1
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: edgar.t.walters@uth.tmc.edu.

Abstract

Neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury (SCI) is common, often intractable, and can be severely debilitating. A number of mechanisms have been proposed for this pain, which are discussed briefly, along with methods for revealing SCI pain in animal models, such as the recently applied conditioned place preference test. During the last decade, studies of animal models have shown that both central neuroinflammation and behavioral hypersensitivity (indirect reflex measures of pain) persist chronically after SCI. Interventions that reduce neuroinflammation have been found to ameliorate pain-related behavior, such as treatment with agents that inhibit the activation states of microglia and/or astroglia (including IL-10, minocycline, etanercept, propentofylline, ibudilast, licofelone, SP600125, carbenoxolone). Reversal of pain-related behavior has also been shown with disruption by an inhibitor (CR8) and/or genetic deletion of cell cycle-related proteins, deletion of a truncated receptor (trkB.T1) for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), or reduction by antisense knockdown or an inhibitor (AMG9810) of the activity of channels (TRPV1 or Nav1.8) important for electrical activity in primary nociceptors. Nociceptor activity is known to drive central neuroinflammation in peripheral injury models, and nociceptors appear to be an integral component of host defense. Thus, emerging results suggest that spinal and systemic effects of SCI can activate nociceptor-mediated host defense responses that interact via neuroinflammatory signaling with complex central consequences of SCI to drive chronic pain. This broader view of SCI-induced neuroinflammation suggests new targets, and additional complications, for efforts to develop effective treatments for neuropathic SCI pain.

KEYWORDS:

Astrocytes; Innate immune system; Microglia; Neurogenic inflammation; Neuropathic pain; Primary afferent neurons

PMID:
25017887
DOI:
10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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