Neuropathic pain that typically develops when peripheral nerves are damaged through surgery, bone compression in cancer, diabetes, or infection is a major factor causing impaired quality of life in millions of people worldwide. Recently, there has been a rapidly growing body of evidence indicating that spinal glia play a critical role in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Accumulating findings also indicate that nucleotides play an important role in neuron-glia communication through P2 purinoceptors. Damaged neurons release or leak nucleotides including ATP and UTP to stimulate microglia through P2 purinoceptors expressing on microglia. It was shown in an animal model of neuropathic pain that microglial P2X4 and P2X7 receptors are crucial in pain signaling after peripheral nerve lesion. In this review, we describe the modification of neuropathic pain sensation through microglial P2X4 and P2X7, with the possibility of P2Y6 and P2Y12 involvement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology