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Papers of the Week

2020 Mar.

J Zhejiang Univ Sci B



Regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic potential of microglial inhibitors in neuropathic pain and morphine tolerance.


Du E-R, Fan R-P, Rong L-L, Xie Z, Xu C-S
J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2020 Mar.; 21(3):204-217.
PMID: 32133798.


Microglia are important cells involved in the regulation of neuropathic pain (NPP) and morphine tolerance. Information on their plasticity and polarity has been elucidated after determining their physiological structure, but there is still much to learn about the role of this type of cell in NPP and morphine tolerance. Microglia mediate multiple functions in health and disease by controlling damage in the central nervous system (CNS) and endogenous immune responses to disease. Microglial activation can result in altered opioid system activity, and NPP is characterized by resistance to morphine. Here we investigate the regulatory mechanisms of microglia and review the potential of microglial inhibitors for modulating NPP and morphine tolerance. Targeted inhibition of glial activation is a clinically promising approach to the treatment of NPP and the prevention of morphine tolerance. Finally, we suggest directions for future research on microglial inhibitors.