nerve injury
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Bioengineered ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (2) ◽  
pp. 2058-2075
Yu Zhang ◽  
Shiwei Jiang ◽  
Fei Liao ◽  
Zhifeng Huang ◽  
Xin Yang ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Alison Xiaoqiao Xie ◽  
Sarah Taves ◽  
Ken McCarthy

Chronic neuropathic pain leads to long-term changes in the sensitivity of both peripheral and central nociceptive neurons. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive glial cells are closely associated with the nociceptive neurons including astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS), satellite glial cells (SGCs) in the sensory ganglia, and non-myelinating Schwann cells (NMSCs) in the peripheral nerves. Central and peripheral GFAP-positive cells are involved in the maintenance of chronic pain through a host of inflammatory cytokines, many of which are under control of the transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NFκB) and the enzyme cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). To test the hypothesis that inhibiting GFAP-positive glial signaling alleviates chronic pain, we used (1) a conditional knockout (cKO) mouse expressing Cre recombinase under the hGFAP promoter and a floxed COX2 gene to inactivate the COX2 gene specifically in GFAP-positive cells; and (2) a tet-Off tetracycline transactivator system to suppress NFκB activation in GFAP-positive cells. We found that neuropathic pain behavior following spared nerve injury (SNI) significantly decreased in COX2 cKO mice as well as in mice with decreased glial NFκB signaling. Additionally, experiments were performed to determine whether central or peripheral glial NFκB signaling contributes to the maintenance of chronic pain behavior following nerve injury. Oxytetracycline (Oxy), a blood-brain barrier impermeable analog of doxycycline was employed to restrict transgene expression to CNS glia only, leaving peripheral glial signaling intact. Signaling inactivation in central GFAP-positive glia alone failed to exhibit the same analgesic effects as previously observed in animals with both central and peripheral glial signaling inhibition. These data suggest that the NFκB-COX2 signaling pathway in NMSCs is necessary for the maintenance of neuropathic pain in vivo.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 816
Parvathi Varier ◽  
Gayathri Raju ◽  
Pallavi Madhusudanan ◽  
Chinnu Jerard ◽  
Sahadev A. Shankarappa

Nerve axonal injury and associated cellular mechanisms leading to peripheral nerve damage are important topics of research necessary for reducing disability and enhancing quality of life. Model systems that mimic the biological changes that occur during human nerve injury are crucial for the identification of cellular responses, screening of novel therapeutic molecules, and design of neural regeneration strategies. In addition to in vivo and mathematical models, in vitro axonal injury models provide a simple, robust, and reductionist platform to partially understand nerve injury pathogenesis and regeneration. In recent years, there have been several advances related to in vitro techniques that focus on the utilization of custom-fabricated cell culture chambers, microfluidic chamber systems, and injury techniques such as laser ablation and axonal stretching. These developments seem to reflect a gradual and natural progression towards understanding molecular and signaling events at an individual axon and neuronal-soma level. In this review, we attempt to categorize and discuss various in vitro models of injury relevant to the peripheral nervous system and highlight their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Such models will help to recreate the post-injury microenvironment and aid in the development of therapeutic strategies that can accelerate nerve repair.

Oral Diseases ◽  
2022 ◽  
Ryoko Kurisu ◽  
Tadashi Saigusa ◽  
Yuri Aono ◽  
Yoshinori Hayashi ◽  
Suzuro Hitomi ◽  

2022 ◽  
Qiao-Yun Li ◽  
Pei-Wen Yao ◽  
Jin-Yu Liu ◽  
Yi-Wen Duan ◽  
Shao-Xia Chen ◽  

Abstract Background: Peripheral nerve inflammation or lesion can affect contralateral healthy structures, and thus results in mirror-image pain. Supraspinal structures play important roles in the occurrence of mirror pain. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a first order cortical region that responds to painful stimuli. In the present study, we systematically investigate and compare the neuroimmune changes in the bilateral ACC region using unilateral- (spared nerve injury, SNI) and mirror-(L5 ventral root transection, L5-VRT) pain models, aiming to explore the potential supraspinal neuroimmune mechanism underlying the mirror-image pain. Methods: The up-and-down method with von Frey hairs was used to measure the mechanical allodynia. Viral injections for the designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) were used to modulate ACC pyramidal neurons. Immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, western blotting, protein microarray were used to detect the regulation of inflammatory signaling.Results: Increased expressions of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and chemokine CX3CL1 in ACC induced by unilateral nerve injury were observed on the contralateral side in the SNI group but on the bilateral side in the L5-VRT group, representing a stronger immune response to L5-VRT surgery. In remote ACC, both SNI and L5-VRT induced robust bilateral increase in the protein level of Nav1.6 (SCN8A), a major voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) that regulates neuronal activity in the mammalian nervous system. However, the L5-VRT-induced Nav1.6 response occurred at PO 3d, earlier than the SNI-induced one, 7 days after surgery. Modulating ACC pyramidal neurons via DREADD-Gq or DREADD-Gi greatly changed the ACC CX3CL1 levels and the mechanical paw withdrawal threshold. Neutralization of endogenous ACC CX3CL1 by contralateral anti-CX3CL1 antibody attenuated the induction and the maintenance of mechanical allodynia and eliminated the upregulation of CX3CL1, TNF-α and Nav1.6 protein levels in ACC induced by SNI. Furthermore, contralateral ACC anti-CX3CL1 also inhibited the expression of ipsilateral spinal c-Fos, Iba1, CD11b, TNF-α and IL-6. Conclusions: The descending facilitation function mediated by CX3CL1 and its downstream cascade may play a pivotal role, leading to enhanced pain sensitization and even mirror-image pain. Strategies that target chemokine-mediated ACC hyperexcitability may lead to novel therapies for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Xixiao Zhu ◽  
Yingling Xu ◽  
Zui Shen ◽  
Haiyan Zhang ◽  
Siqi Xiao ◽  

Neuropathic pain is a common cause of chronic pain and is often accompanied by negative emotions, making it complex and difficult to treat. However, the neural circuit mechanisms underlying these symptoms remain unclear. Herein, we present a novel pathway associated with comorbid chronic pain and anxiety. Using chemogenetic methods, we found that activation of glutamatergic projections from the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACCGlu) to the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) induced both hyperalgesia and anxiety-like behaviors in sham mice. Inhibition of the rACCGlu-vlPAG pathway reduced anxiety-like behaviors and hyperalgesia in the spared nerve injury (SNI) mice model; moreover, electroacupuncture (EA) effectively alleviated these symptoms. Investigation of the related mechanisms revealed that the chemogenetic activation of the rACCGlu-vlPAG circuit effectively blocked the analgesic effect of EA in the SNI mice model but did not affect the chronic pain-induced negative emotions. This study revealed a novel pathway, the rACCGlu-vlPAG pathway, that mediates neuropathic pain and pain-induced anxiety.

2022 ◽  
Bing Cao ◽  
Gregory Scherrer ◽  
Lu Chen

Central sensitization caused by disinhibition of spinal cord circuits is a key mechanism of mechanical allodynia in neuropathic pain. Despite intense efforts, the molecular mechanisms that drive disinhibition and induce allodynia after peripheral nerve injury remain unclear. Using the spared-nerve injury (SNI) model of allodynia, we here demonstrate that SNI induces disinhibition of spinal nociceptive circuits by triggering homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Specifically, SNI-triggered homeostatic plasticity suppresses the inhibitory outputs of parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons that form synapses on both primary afferent terminals and excitatory interneurons, causing hyperactivation of the nociceptive pathway. Using genetic manipulations, we identified the retinoic acid receptor RARα as the key mediator of the homeostatic synaptic plasticity underlying this synaptic disinhibition. Deletion of RARα in PV+ neurons blocked SNI-induced spinal disinhibition, central sensitization, and allodynia. Moreover, deletion of RARα in spinal PV+ neurons or application of an RARα antagonist in the spinal cord prevented the development of SNI-induced mechanical allodynia. Together, our results reveal a molecular mechanism of neuropathic pain whereby homeostatic plasticity causes the mis-direction of tactile information flow to ascending nociceptive pathways following peripheral nerve injury.  

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