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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Nov 2023 - 10 Nov 2023

2023 Oct 31

Exp Neurobiol




BDNF/TrkB Signaling Inhibition Suppresses Astrogliosis and Alleviates Mechanical Allodynia in a Partial Crush Injury Model.


Phan TT, Jayathilake NJ, Lee KP, Park JM


Neuropathic pain presents a formidable clinical challenge due to its persistent nature and limited responsiveness to conventional analgesic treatments. While significant progress has been made in understanding the role of spinal astrocytes in neuropathic pain, their contribution and functional changes following a partial crush injury (PCI) remain unexplored. In this study, we investigated structural and functional changes in spinal astrocytes during chronic neuropathic pain, employing a partial crush injury model. This model allowes us to replicate the transition from initial nociceptive responses to persistent pain, highlighting the relevance of astrocytes in pain maintenance and sensitization. Through the examination of mechanical allodynia, a painful sensation in response to innocuous stimuli, and the correlation with increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) along with reactive astrocytes, we identified a potential mechanistic link between astrocytic activity and BDNF signaling. Ultimately, our research provides evidence that inhibiting astrocyte activation through a BDNF/TrkB inhibitor alleviates mechanical allodynia, underscoring the therapeutic potential of targeting glial BDNF-related pathways for pain management. These findings offer critical insights into the cellular and molecular dynamics of neuropathic pain, paving the way for innovative and targeted treatment strategies for this challenging condition.