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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 May 2021 - 7 May 2021

Animal Studies

2021 Apr 27

Int J Mol Sci



Microglia and Inhibitory Circuitry in the Medullary Dorsal Horn: Laminar and Time-Dependent Changes in a Trigeminal Model of Neuropathic Pain.


García-Magro N, Martin YB, Negredo P, Zafra F, Avendaño C
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 27; 22(9).
PMID: 33925417.


Craniofacial neuropathic pain affects millions of people worldwide and is often difficult to treat. Two key mechanisms underlying this condition are a loss of the negative control exerted by inhibitory interneurons and an early microglial reaction. Basic features of these mechanisms, however, are still poorly understood. Using the chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-IoN) model of neuropathic pain in mice, we have examined the changes in the expression of GAD, the synthetic enzyme of GABA, and GlyT2, the membrane transporter of glycine, as well as the microgliosis that occur at early (5 days) and late (21 days) stages post-CCI in the medullary and upper spinal dorsal horn. Our results show that CCI-IoN induces a down-regulation of GAD at both postinjury survival times, uniformly across the superficial laminae. The expression of GlyT2 showed a more discrete and heterogeneous reduction due to the basal presence in lamina III of 'patches' of higher expression, interspersed within a less immunoreactive 'matrix', which showed a more substantial reduction in the expression of GlyT2. These patches coincided with foci lacking any perceptible microglial reaction, which stood out against a more diffuse area of strong microgliosis. These findings may provide clues to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying allodynia in neuropathic pain syndromes.