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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Mar 2023 - 24 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Mar 09

J Neuroimmunol



Interleukin-17 is involved in neuropathic pain and spinal synapse plasticity in mice.


Sun JL, Dai WJ, Shen XY, Lü N, Zhang YQ


Neuropathic pain seriously affects people’s life, but its mechanism is not clear. Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a proinflammation cytokine and involved in pain regulation. Our previous study found that IL-17 markedly enhanced the excitatory activity of spinal dorsal neurons in mice spinal slices. The present study attempts to explore if IL-17 contributes to neuropathic pain and spinal synapse plasticity. A model of spared nerve injury (SNI) was established in C57BL/6 J mice and IL-17a mutant mice. The pain-like behaviors was tested by von Frey test and dynamic mechanical stimuli, and the expression of IL-17 and its receptor, IL-17RA, was detected by immunohistochemical staining. C-fiber evoked field potentials were recorded in vivo. In the spinal dorsal horn, IL-17 predominantly expressed in the superficial spinal astrocytes and IL-17RA expressed mostly in neurons and slightly in astrocytes. The SNI-induced static and dynamic allodynia was significantly prevented by pretreatment of neutralizing IL-17 antibody (intrathecal injection, 2 μg/10 μL) and attenuated in IL-17a mutant mice. Post-treatment of IL-17 neutralizing antibody also partially relieved the established mechanical allodynia. Moreover, spinal long-term potentiation (LTP) of C-fiber evoked field potentials, a substrate for central sensitization, was suppressed by IL-17 neutralizing antibody. Intrathecal injection of IL-17 recombinant protein (0.2 μg/10 μL) mimicked the mechanical allodynia and facilitated the spinal LTP. These data implied that IL-17 in the spinal cord played a crucial role in neuropathic pain and central sensitization.