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Front Pain Res (Lausanne)


Chemokines and Pain in the Trigeminal System.


Solis-Castro OO, Wong N, Boissonade FM
Front Pain Res (Lausanne). 2021; 2:689314.
PMID: 35295531.


Chemotactic cytokines or chemokines are a large family of secreted proteins able to induce chemotaxis. Chemokines are categorized according to their primary amino acid sequence, and in particular their cysteine residues that form disulphide bonds to maintain the structure: CC, CXC, CX3C, and XC, in which X represents variable amino acids. Among their many roles, chemokines are known to be key players in pain modulation in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Thus, they are promising candidates for novel therapeutics that could replace current, often ineffective treatments. The spinal and trigeminal systems are intrinsically different beyond their anatomical location, and it has been suggested that there are also differences in their sensory mechanisms. Hence, understanding the different mechanisms involved in pain modulation for each system could aid in developing appropriate pharmacological alternatives. Here, we aim to describe the current landscape of chemokines that have been studied specifically with regard to trigeminal pain. Searching PubMed and Google Scholar, we identified 30 reports describing chemokines in animal models of trigeminal pain, and 15 reports describing chemokines involved in human pain associated with the trigeminal system. This review highlights the chemokines studied to date at different levels of the trigeminal system, their cellular localization and, where available, their role in a variety of animal pain models.