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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021

Animal Studies


PLoS One



Increased expression of Netrin-4 is associated with allodynia in a trigeminal neuropathic pain model rats by infraorbital nerve injury.


Neuropathic pain refers to pain caused by lesions or diseases of the somatosensory nervous system that is characteristically different from nociceptive pain. Moreover, neuropathic pain occurs in the maxillofacial region due to various factors and is treated using tricyclic antidepressants and nerve block therapy; however, some cases do not fully recover. Netrin is a secreted protein crucially involved in neural circuit formation during development, including cell migration, cell death, neurite formation, and synapse formation. Recent studies show Netrin-4 expressed in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord is associated with chronic pain. Here we found involvement of Netrin-4 in neuropathic pain in the maxillofacial region. Netrin-4, along with one of its receptors, Unc5B, are expressed in the caudal subnucleus of the trigeminal spinal tract nucleus. Inhibition of its binding by anti-Netrin-4 antibodies not only shows a behavioral analgesic effect but also neuronal activity suppression. There was increased Netrin-4 expression at 14 days after infraorbital nerve injury. Our findings suggest that Netrin-4 induced by peripheral nerve injury causes neuropathic pain via Unc5B.