Neuronal and microglial mechanisms for neuropathic pain in the spinal dorsal horn and anterior cingulate cortex

Tsuda Makoto, Kohei Koga, Tao Chen, Min Zhuo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuropathic pain is a debilitating chronic pain condition occurring after damage in the nervous system and is refractory to the currently available treatments. Major challenges include elucidating its mechanisms and developing new medications to treat it. Nerve injury-induced pain hypersensitivity involves aberrant excitability in spinal dorsal horn (SDH) neurons as a consequence of dysfunction of inhibitory interneurons and of hyperactivity of glial cells, especially microglia, the immune cells of the central nervous system. Evidence of this is found using animal models to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuropathic pain. The pathologically altered somatosensory signals in the SDH then convey to the brain regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In these regions, nerve injury produces pre- and postsynaptic long-term plasticity, which contributes to negative emotions and anxiety associated with chronic pain conditions. Furthermore, recent evidence also indicates that the descending projection pathways from the ACC directly and indirectly to the SDH (the top-down corticospinal network) regulate nociceptive sensory transmission in the SDH. Thus, understanding a possible connection between the SDH and ACC, including a neuron–microglia interaction, may provide us with insights into the mechanisms used to amplify pain signals related to neuropathic pain and clues to aid the development of new therapeutic agents for the management of chronic pain. This article is part of the special article series “Pain”. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-498
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume141
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017

Fingerprint

Gyrus Cinguli
Neurology
Neuralgia
Chronic Pain
Pain
Refractory materials
Neurons
Plasticity
Brain
Animals
Posterior Horn Cells
Wounds and Injuries
Microglia
Interneurons
Neuroglia
Nervous System
Hypersensitivity
Emotions
Anxiety
Central Nervous System

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Neuronal and microglial mechanisms for neuropathic pain in the spinal dorsal horn and anterior cingulate cortex. / Makoto, Tsuda; Koga, Kohei; Chen, Tao; Zhuo, Min.

In: Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 141, No. 4, 01.05.2017, p. 486-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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