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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Nov 2023 - 17 Nov 2023

2023 Nov 05



Interleukin-10-producing monocytes contribute to sex differences in pain resolution in mice and humans.


Sim J, O'Guin E, Monahan K, Sugimoto C, McLean SA, Albertorio-Sáez L, Zhao Y, Laumet S, Dagenais A, Bernard MP, Folger JK, Robison AJ, Linnstaedt SD, Laumet G


Pain is closely associated with the immune system, which exhibits sexual dimorphism. For these reasons, neuro-immune interactions are suggested to drive sex differences in pain pathophysiology. However, our understanding of peripheral neuro-immune interactions on sex differences in pain resolution remains limited. Here, we have shown, in both a mouse model of inflammatory pain and in humans following traumatic pain, that males had higher levels of interleukin (IL)-10 than females, which were correlated with faster pain resolution. Following injury, we identified monocytes (CD11b+ Ly6C+ Ly6G-F4/80 ) as the primary source of IL-10, with IL-10-producing monocytes being more abundant in males than females. In a mouse model, neutralizing IL-10 signaling through antibodies, genetically ablating IL-10R1 in sensory neurons, or depleting monocytes with clodronate all impaired the resolution of pain hypersensitivity in both sexes. Furthermore, manipulating androgen levels in mice reversed the sexual dimorphism of pain resolution and the levels of IL-10-producing monocytes. These results highlight a novel role for androgen-driven peripheral IL-10-producing monocytes in the sexual dimorphism of pain resolution. These findings add to the growing concept that immune cells play a critical role in resolving pain and preventing the transition into chronic pain.