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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 May 2022 - 20 May 2022

Animal Studies

2022 May


36 Suppl 1

Sex differences in behavior and immune response revealed by a NSAID nanotherapeutic treatment during peripheral neuroinflammation.


Until recently, the majority of preclinical neuroinflammatory studies were performed on males. Because of this, less is known about the female neuroinflammatory response to injury, formation of pain, or response to pain-relieving therapies. A major focus has been on the macrophage and its contribution to the development of neuropathic pain. Under a typical response, the macrophage upregulates expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which in turn leads to the production of proinflammatory prostaglandin E (PGE ), which is linked to neuronal sensitization and pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to attenuate PGE by the inhibition of COX-2. However, a problem with NSAIDs is that due to the systemic dosage needed to achieve neuropathic pain relief there are risks of off-target toxicity. This study evaluated a COX-2 inhibiting nanotherapeutic in its ability to relieve neuropathic inflammation and pain-like behavior of a chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the right sciatic nerve. We find that under the same injury, both males and females exhibit the same degree of hypersensitivity represented as pain-like behavior. We also find that the nanotherapeutic was able to relieve pain-like behavior in both sexes, but females experienced less relief. This behavioral response was reflected in the number of infiltrating macrophages at the site of injury; where again, both sexes had decreased inflammation but the females had significantly more macrophages present than the males.