Neuronal and microglial mechanisms of neuropathic pain

Min Zhuo, Gongxiong Wu, LongJun Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

139 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuropathic pain is generally defined as a chronic pain state resulting from peripheral and/or central nerve injury. Effective treatment for neuropathic pain is still lacking, due in part to poor understanding of pathological mechanisms at the molecular level. Neuronal mechanisms of neuropathic pain, especially synaptic plasticity, are the major focus of many investigators. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor dependent synaptic plasticity at the spinal and cortical levels is believed to contribute to enhanced sensory responses after injury. Glial cells, including astrocytes and microglia, have recently been implicated in neuropathic pain. These glial cells form close interactions with neurons and thus may modulate nociceptive transmission under pathological conditions. In this review, we present recent progress in the study of neuronal and microglial mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. We propose that activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is a key target for treatment in neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalMolecular Brain
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Neuralgia
Neuronal Plasticity
Neuroglia
Wounds and Injuries
Microglia
N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors
Chronic Pain
Astrocytes
Research Personnel
Neurons
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Neuronal and microglial mechanisms of neuropathic pain. / Zhuo, Min; Wu, Gongxiong; Wu, LongJun.

In: Molecular Brain, Vol. 4, No. 1, 31, 02.08.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Zhuo, Min ; Wu, Gongxiong ; Wu, LongJun. / Neuronal and microglial mechanisms of neuropathic pain. In: Molecular Brain. 2011 ; Vol. 4, No. 1.
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