I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Mar 2023 - 10 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Mar 04

J Neurochem


Astrocytic purinergic signaling contributes to the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain via modulation of glutamate release.


Liu S, Cheng H, Cui L, Jin L, Li Y, Zhu C, Ji Q, Tang J


Although activation of astrocytes is critical in developing neuropathic pain (NP) following nerve injury, the underlying mechanisms of NP and therapeutic management for NP are still vague. Importantly, the decreases in the levels of astrocytic glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) in the spinal dorsal horn result in enhanced excitatory transmission and cause persistent pain. P2Y1 purinergic receptor (P2Y1R) has been shown to enhance many inflammatory processes. The upregulated expression of astrocytic P2Y1R is crucial to participate in pain transduction under conditions of nerve injury and peripheral inflammation considering that P2Y1R is potentially involved in glutamate release and synaptic transmission. This study indicates that the expression of P2Y1R in the spinal cord was increased accompanied by the activation of A1 phenotype astrocytes in the rat model of spinal nerve ligation (SNL). Astrocyte-specific knockdown of P2Y1R alleviated SNL-induced nociceptive responses and mitigated A1 reactive astrocytes, which subsequently increased GLT-1 expression. Conversely, in naïve rats, P2Y1R overexpression induced a canonical NP-like phenotype and spontaneous hypernociceptive responses, as well as increased the concentration of glutamate in the spinal dorsal horn. Besides, our in vitro data showed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α contributes to A1/A2 astrocyte reactivity and Ca -dependent release of glutamate. Conclusively, our results provide novel insights that as a significant regulator of astrocytic A1/A2 polarization and neuroinflammation, P2Y1R may represent a potential target for the treatment of SNL-induced NP.