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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Aug 2019 - 16 Aug 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Aug 20

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A



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TNFR2 promotes Treg-mediated recovery from neuropathic pain across sexes.


Fischer R, Sendetski M, Rivero T D, Martinez GF, Bracchi-Ricard V, Swanson KA, Pruzinsky EK, Delguercio N, Rosalino MJ, Padutsch T, Kontermann RE, Pfizenmaier K, Bethea JR
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Aug 20; 116(34):17045-17050.
PMID: 31391309.


Tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) is a transmembrane receptor that is linked to immune modulation and tissue regeneration. Here, we show that TNFR2 essentially promotes long-term pain resolution independently of sex. Genetic deletion of TNFR2 resulted in impaired neuronal regeneration and chronic nonresolving pain after chronic constriction injury (CCI). Further, pharmacological activation of TNFR2 using the TNFR2 agonist EHD2-sc-mTNF in mice with chronic neuropathic pain promoted long-lasting pain recovery. TNFR2 agonist treatment reduced neuronal injury, alleviated peripheral and central inflammation, and promoted repolarization of central nervous system (CNS)-infiltrating myeloid cells into an antiinflammatory/reparative phenotype. Depletion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) delayed spontaneous pain recovery and abolished the therapeutic effect of EHD2-sc-mTNF This study therefore reveals a function of TNFR2 in neuropathic pain recovery and demonstrates that both TNFR2 signaling and Tregs are essential for pain recovery after CCI. Therefore, therapeutic strategies based on the concept of enhancing TNFR2 signaling could be developed into a nonopioid therapy for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.