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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Jan 2024 - 12 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 06

Brain Behav Immun


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Microglial STING activation alleviates nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain in male but not female mice.


Silveira Prudente A, Hoon Lee S, Roh J, Luckemeyer DD, Faith Cohen C, Pertin M, Park CK, Suter MR, Decosterd I, Zhang JM, Ji RR, Berta T


Microglia, resident immune cells in the central nervous system, play a role in neuroinflammation and the development of neuropathic pain. We found that the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) is predominantly expressed in spinal microglia and upregulated after peripheral nerve injury. However, mechanical allodynia, as a marker of neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury, did not require microglial STING expression. In contrast, STING activation by specific agonists (ADU-S100, 35 nmol) significantly alleviated neuropathic pain in male mice, but not female mice. STING activation in female mice leads to increase in proinflammatory cytokines that may counteract the analgesic effect of ADU-S100. Microglial STING expression and type I interferon-ß (IFN-ß) signaling were required for the analgesic effects of STING agonists in male mice. Mechanistically, downstream activation of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and the production of IFN-ß, may partly account for the analgesic effect observed. These findings suggest that STING activation in spinal microglia could be a potential therapeutic intervention for neuropathic pain, particularly in males.