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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021

Animal Studies

2021 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Lack of correlation between spinal microgliosis and long-term development of tactile hypersensitivity in two different sciatic nerve crush injury.


Microglia activation following peripheral nerve injury has been shown to contribute to central sensitization of the spinal cord for the development of neuropathic pain. In a recent study, we reported that the amount of nerve damage does not necessarily correlate with chronic pain development. Here we compared the response of spinal microglia, using immunohistochemistry as a surrogate of microglial activation, in mice with two different types of crush injury of the sciatic nerve. We confirmed that incomplete crush of the sciatic nerve (partial crush injury, PCI) resulted in tactile hypersensitivity after the recovery of sensory function (15 days after surgery), whereas the hypersensitivity was not observed after the complete crush (full crush injury, FCI). We observed that immunoreactivity for Iba-1, a microglial marker, was greater in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of lumbar (L4) spinal cord of mice 2 days after FCI compared to PCI, positively correlating with the intensity of crush injury. Ipsilateral Iba-1 reactivity was comparable between injuries at 7 days with a significant increase compared to the contralateral side. By day 15 after injury, ipsilateral Iba-1 immunoreactivity was much reduced compared to day 7 and was not different between the groups. Our results suggest that the magnitude of the early microgliosis is dependent on injury severity, but does not necessarily correlate with the long-term development of chronic pain-like hypersensitivity after peripheral nerve injury.