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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Mar 2023 - 31 Mar 2023

Basic Science, Psychology

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Mar 13

Int J Mol Sci




IL-1 Mediates Chronic Stress-Induced Hyperalgesia Accompanied by Microglia and Astroglia Morphological Changes in Pain-Related Brain Regions in Mice.


Fülöp B, Hunyady Á, Bencze N, Kormos V, Szentes N, Dénes Á, Lénárt N, Borbély É, Helyes Z


Chronic stress causes several pain conditions including fibromyalgia. Its pathophysiological mechanisms are unknown, and the therapy is unresolved. Since the involvement of interleukin-1 (IL-1) has been described in stress and inflammatory pain but no data are available regarding stress-induced pain, we studied its role in a chronic restraint stress (CRS) mouse model. Female and male C57Bl/6J wild-type (WT) and IL-1αβ-deficient (knock-out: IL-1 KO) mice were exposed to 6 h of immobilization/day for 4 weeks. Mechanonociception, cold tolerance, behavioral alterations, relative thymus/adrenal gland weights, microglia ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA1) and astrocyte glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) integrated density, number and morphological transformation in pain-related brain regions were determined. CRS induced 15-20% mechanical hyperalgesia after 2 weeks in WT mice in both sexes, which was significantly reduced in female but not in male IL-1 KOs. Increased IBA1+ integrated density in the central nucleus of amygdala, primary somatosensory cortex hind limb representation part, hippocampus cornu ammonis area 3 (CA3) and periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) was present, accompanied by a cell number increase in IBA1+ microglia in stressed female WTs but not in IL-1 KOs. CRS induced morphological changes of GFAP+ astrocytes in WT but not in KO mice. Stress evoked cold hypersensitivity in the stressed animals. Anxiety and depression-like behaviors, thymus and adrenal gland weight changes were detectable in all groups after 2 but not 4 weeks of CRS due to adaptation. Thus, IL-1 mediates chronic stress-induced hyperalgesia in female mice, without other major behavioral alterations, suggesting the analgesic potentials of IL-1 in blocking drugs in stress-related pain syndromes.