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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Aug 2020 - 7 Aug 2020

2020 Jun

R Soc Open Sci



Microglia: sculptors of neuropathic pain?


Ward H, West SJ
R Soc Open Sci. 2020 Jun; 7(6):200260.
PMID: 32742693.


Neuropathic pain presents a huge societal and individual burden. The limited efficacy of current analgesics, diagnostic markers and clinical trial outcome measures arises from an incomplete understanding of the underlying mechanisms. A large and growing body of evidence has established the important role of microglia in the onset and possible maintenance of neuropathic pain, and these cells may represent an important target for future therapy. Microglial research has further revealed their important role in structural remodelling of the nervous system. In this review, we aim to explore the evidence for microglia in sculpting nervous system structure and function, as well as their important role in neuropathic pain, and finally integrate these studies to synthesize a new model for microglia in somatosensory circuit remodelling, composed of six key and inter-related mechanisms. Summarizing the mechanisms through which microglia modulate nervous system structure and function helps to frame a better understanding of neuropathic pain, and provide a clear roadmap for future research.