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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 15

Int Immunopharmacol


Amelioration of central neurodegeneration by docosahexaenoic acid in trigeminal neuralgia rats through the regulation of central neuroinflammation.


Mu G, Ren C, Zhang Y, Lu B, Feng J, Wu D, Xu X, Ou C
Int Immunopharmacol. 2022 Dec 15; 114:109544.
PMID: 36527885.


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a stubborn head and face neuropathic pain with complex pathogenesis. Patients with TN have a significantly increased risk of central neurodegeneration, which manifests as cognitive impairment and memory loss, but the specific mechanism underlying central nervous degeneration is still unclear. This study aimed to explore central neurodegeneration and its possible mechanism of action in TN rats based on changes in the brain fatty acid content and microglia-related neuroinflammation. Using a TN neuropathic pain model established by us, we found that TN rats have obvious cognitive impairment. Furthermore, changes in the brain fatty acid content were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). It was found that the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content in the central nervous system (CNS) of TN rats was significantly decreased compared to that in the CNS of Sham rats. An important component in maintaining brain cognition, DHA also plays a key role in regulating central neuroinflammation. Here, by continuous supplementation of DHA, the CNS DHA content was increased to a certain extent in TN rats. The cognitive impairment of TN rats was improved after restoring the central DHA level; this may be related to the improvement of neuroinflammation through the DHA-mediated regulation of microglial polarization. Overall, this study provides a theoretical basis for explaining the pathogenesis of central neurodegeneration in TN. It also suggests DHA as a target for protecting the CNS of patients with TN from damage.