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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Aug 21



Microglia in the Primary Somatosensory Barrel Cortex Mediate Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain.


Wang Y, Cao P, Mei L, Yin W, Mao Y, Niu C, Zhang Z, Tao W
Neuroscience. 2019 Aug 21; 414:299-310.
PMID: 31181369.


Trigeminal neuropathic pain (TGN) is an attacking, abrupt, electric-shock headache involving abnormal cortical activity. The neural mechanism underlying TGN remains elusive. In this study, we explored the role of microglia in the primary somatosensory barrel cortex (S1BF), which is a critical region for TGN, of a mouse model of TGN that displayed significant pain-related behaviors. Using electrophysiological recordings, we found robust neuronal hyperactivity in glutamatergic neurons of S1BF (Glu). Chemogenetic inhibition of Glu neurons significantly relieved mechanical allodynia in TGN mice. In naïve mice, chemogenetic activation of Glu neurons induced pain sensitization. In addition, we found that microglia in the S1BF (microglia) were significantly activated, with density and morphology changes. Intraperitoneal administration of minocycline, a microglia inhibitor, attenuated pain sensitization, and decreased Glu neuronal activity. Together, these findings demonstrate the putative importance of microglia as a key regulator in TGN through actions on Glu neuronal adaptation.