I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Dec 2019 - 27 Dec 2019

2020 May

J Lipid Res



Lipid rafts in glial cells: Role in neuroinflammation and pain processing.


Miller YI, Navia-Pelaez JM, Corr M, Yaksh TL
J Lipid Res. 2020 May; 61(5):655-666.
PMID: 31862695.


Activation of microglia and astrocytes secondary to inflammatory processes contributes to the development and perpetuation of pain with a neuropathic phenotype. This pain state presents as a chronic debilitating condition and affects a large population of patients with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, or after surgery, trauma, or chemotherapy. Here we review the regulation of lipid rafts in glial cells and the role they play as a key component of neuroinflammatory sensitization of central pain signaling pathways. In this context, we introduce the concept of an inflammaraft – enlarged lipid rafts harboring activated receptors and adaptor molecules and serving as an organizing platform to initiate inflammatory signaling and the cellular response. Characteristics of the inflammaraft include increased relative abundance of lipid rafts in inflammatory cells, increased content of cholesterol per raft, and increased levels of inflammatory receptors, such as TLR4, adaptor molecules, ion channels, and enzymes in lipid rafts. This inflammaraft motif serves an important role in the membrane assembly of protein complexes – for example, TLR4 dimerization. Operating within this framework, we demonstrate the involvement of inflammatory receptors, redox molecules and ion channels in the inflammaraft formation and the regulation of cholesterol and sphingolipid metabolism in the inflammaraft maintenance and disruption. Strategies for targeting inflammarafts, without affecting the integrity of lipid rafts in non-inflammatory cells, may lead to developing novel therapies for neuropathic pain states and other neuroinflammatory conditions.