P2X3 monomeric receptors (P2X3Rs) and P2X2/3 heteromeric receptors (P2X2/3Rs) in primary sensory neurons and microglial P2X4 monomeric receptors (P2X4Rs) in the spinal dorsal horn (SDH) play important roles in neuropathic pain. In particular, P2X4R in the spinal microglia during peripheral nerve injury (PNI), experimental autoimmune neuritis, and herpes models are useful to explore the potential strategies for developing new drugs to treat neuropathic pain. Recently, novel P2X4 antagonists, NP-1815-PX and NC-2600, were developed, which demonstrated potent and specific inhibition against rodent and human P2X4Rs. The phase I study of NC-2600 has been completed, and no serious side effects were reported. The roles played by purinergic receptors in evoking neuropathic pain provide crucial insights into the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain.
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