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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020


Animal Studies

2020 Jul

Neural Regen Res



Exendin-4 attenuates pain-induced cognitive impairment by alleviating hippocampal neuroinflammation in a rat model of spinal nerve ligation.


Cui S-S, Feng X-B, Zhang B-H, Xia Z-Y, Zhan L-Y
Neural Regen Res. 2020 Jul; 15(7):1333-1339.
PMID: 31960821.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor has anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. It is now recognized that the occurrence and development of chronic pain are strongly associated with anti-inflammatory responses; however, it is not clear whether glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor regulates chronic pain via anti-inflammatory mechanisms. We explored the effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor on nociception, cognition, and neuroinflammation in chronic pain. A rat model of chronic pain was established using left L5 spinal nerve ligation. The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exendin-4 was intrathecally injected into rats from 10 to 21 days after spinal nerve ligation. Electrophysiological examinations showed that, after treatment with exendin-4, paw withdrawal frequency of the left limb was significantly reduced, and pain was relieved. In addition, in the Morris water maze test, escape latency increased and the time to reach the platform decreased following exendin-4 treatment. Immunohistochemical staining and western blot assays revealed an increase in the numbers of activated microglia and astrocytes in the dentate gyrus of rat hippocampus, as well as an increase in the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 beta, and interleukin 6. All of these effects could be reversed by exendin-4 treatment. These findings suggest that exendin-4 can alleviate pain-induced neuroinflammatory responses and promote the recovery of cognitive function via the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor pathway. All experimental procedures and protocols were approved by the Experimental Animal Ethics Committee of Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University of China (approval No. WDRM 20171214) on September 22, 2017.