I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 May 2021 - 14 May 2021


Pain Rep



Sensory neuron-associated macrophages as novel modulators of neuropathic pain.


Silva C E A, Guimarães R M, Cunha T M
Pain Rep. 2021; 6(1):e873.
PMID: 33981924.


The peripheral nervous system comprises an infinity of neural networks that act in the communication between the central nervous system and the most diverse tissues of the body. Along with the extension of the primary sensory neurons (axons and cell bodies), a population of resident macrophages has been described. These newly called sensory neuron-associated macrophages (sNAMs) seem to play an essential role in physiological and pathophysiological processes, including infection, autoimmunity, nerve degeneration/regeneration, and chronic neuropathic pain. After different types of peripheral nerve injury, there is an increase in the number and activation of sNAMs in the sciatic nerve and sensory ganglia. The activation of sNAMs and their participation in neuropathic pain development depends on the stimulation of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors and Nod-like receptors, chemokines/cytokines, and microRNAs. On activation, sNAMs trigger the production of critical inflammatory mediators such as proinflammatory cytokines (eg, TNF and IL-1β) and reactive oxygen species that can act in the amplification of primary sensory neurons sensitization. On the other hand, there is evidence that sNAMs can produce antinociceptive mediators (eg, IL-10) that counteract neuropathic pain development. This review will present the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the participation of sNAMs in peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain development. Understanding how sNAMs are activated and responding to nerve injury can help set novel targets for the control of neuropathic pain.