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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 May 2020 - 8 May 2020

Animal Studies

2020 May 04

J Neurosci

Editor's Pick

Dendritic Spine Dynamics after Peripheral Nerve Injury: An Intravital Structural Study.


Benson CA, Fenrich KK, Olson K-L, Patwa S, Bangalore L, Waxman SG, Tan AM
J Neurosci. 2020 May 04.
PMID: 32371602.


Neuropathic pain is an intractable medical condition with few or no options for effective treatment. Emerging evidence shows a strong structure-function relationship between dendritic spine dysgenesis and the presence of neuropathic pain. Post-mortem tissue analyses can only imply dynamic structural changes associated with injury-induced pain. Here, we profiled the dynamics of dendritic spines over time on the same superficial dorsal horn (lamina II) neurons before and after peripheral nerve injury-induced pain. We employed a two-photon, whole-animal imaging paradigm that permitted repeat imaging of the same dendritic branches of these neurons in C57/Bl6 Thy1-YFP male mice. Our study demonstrates for the first time the ongoing, steady-state changes in dendritic spine dynamics in the dorsal horn associated with peripheral nerve injury and pain. Ultimately, the relationship between altered dendritic spine dynamics and neuropathic pain may serve as a structure-based opportunity to investigate mechanisms of pain following injury and disease.This work is important because it demonstrates for the first time: a)The powerful utility of intravital study of dendritic spine dynamics in the superficial dorsal horn.b)That nerve injury-induced pain triggers changes in dendritic spine steady-state behavior in the spinal cord dorsal horn.c)This work opens the door to further investigations of spinal cord dendritic spine dynamics in the context of injury and disease.