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Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 16

Brain Behav Immun


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Infraorbital nerve injury triggers sex-specific neuroimmune responses in the peripheral trigeminal pathway and common pain behaviours.


Kang JWM, Davanzo OI, Emvalomenos GM, Mychasiuk R, Henderson LA, Keay KA


Trigeminal neuropathic pain is emotionally distressing and disabling. It presents with allodynia, hyperalgesia and dysaesthesia. In preclinical models it has been assumed that cephalic nerve constriction injury shows identical molecular, cellular, and sex dependent neuroimmune changes as observed in extra-cephalic injury models. This study sought empirical evidence for such assumptions using the infraorbital nerve chronic constriction model (ION-CCI). We compared the behavioural consequences of nerve constriction with: (i) the temporal patterns of recruitment of macrophages and T-lymphocytes at the site of nerve injury and in the trigeminal ganglion; and (ii) the degree of demyelination and axonal reorganisation in the injured nerve. Our data demonstrated that simply testing for allodynia and hyperalgesia as is done in extra-cephalic neuropathic pain models does not provide access to the range of injury-specific nociceptive responses and behaviours reflective of the experience of trigeminal neuropathic pain. Similarly, trigeminal neuroimmune changes evoked by nerve injury are not the same as those identified in models of extra-cephalic neuropathy. Specifically, the timing, magnitude, and pattern of ION-CCI evoked macrophage and T-lymphocyte activity differs between the sexes.