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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Jan 2019 - 1 Feb 2019

Animal Studies

2019 May

Neural Regen Res



Neural stem cell transplantation inhibits glial cell proliferation and P2X receptor-mediated neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury rats.


Du X-J, Chen Y-X, Zheng Z-C, Wang N, Wang X-Y, Kong F-E
Neural Regen Res. 2019 May; 14(5):876-885.
PMID: 30688274.


P2X4 and P2X7 receptors play an important role in neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. Regulation of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors can obviously reduce pain hypersensitivity after injury. To investigate the role of neural stem cell transplantation on P2X receptor-mediated neuropathic pain and explore related mechanisms, a rat model of spinal cord injury was prepared using the free-falling heavy body method with spinal cord segment 10 as the center. Neural stem cells were injected into the injured spinal cord segment using a micro-syringe. Expression levels of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors, neurofilament protein, and glial fibrillary acidic protein were determined by immunohistochemistry and western blot assay. In addition, sensory function was quantitatively assessed by current perception threshold. The Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotor rating scale was used to assess neuropathological pain. The results showed that 4 weeks after neural stem cell transplantation, expression of neurofilament protein in the injured segment was markedly increased, while expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and P2X4 and P2X7 receptors was decreased. At this time point, motor and sensory functions of rats were obviously improved, and neuropathic pain was alleviated. These findings demonstrated that neural stem cell transplantation reduced overexpression of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors, activated locomotor and sensory function reconstruction, and played an important role in neuropathic pain regulation after spinal cord injury. Therefore, neural stem cell transplantation is one potential option for relieving neuropathic pain mediated by P2X receptors.