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Neuron. 2018 Dec 19;100(6):1292-1311. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.009.

Microglia in Pain: Detrimental and Protective Roles in Pathogenesis and Resolution of Pain.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration of Jiangsu and Ministry of Education, Co-Innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China.
2
Institute of Neurobiology, Institutes of Brain Science and State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.
3
Center for Translational Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
4
Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Hale Transformative Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Center for Translational Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA; Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Electronic address: ru-rong.ji@duke.edu.

Abstract

The previous decade has seen a rapid increase in microglial studies on pain, with a unique focus on microgliosis in the spinal cord after nerve injury and neuropathic pain. Numerous signaling molecules are altered in microglia and contribute to the pathogenesis of pain. Here, we discuss how microglial signaling regulates spinal cord synaptic plasticity in acute and chronic pain conditions with different degrees and variations of microgliosis. We highlight that microglial mediators such as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are powerful neuromodulators that regulate synaptic transmission and pain via neuron-glial interactions. We also reveal an emerging role of microglia in the resolution of pain, in part via specialized pro-resolving mediators including resolvins, protectins, and maresins. We also discuss a possible role of microglia in chronic itch.

KEYWORDS:

central sensitization; inflammation; itch; microglia; nerve injury; neuroinflammation; neuropathic pain; specialized pro-resolving mediators; spinal cord; synaptic plasticity

PMID:
30571942
PMCID:
PMC6312407
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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