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Papers: 6 Jan 2024 - 12 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 03

Front Neuroendocrinol


Modulatory role of neurosteroidogenesis in the spinal cord during peripheral nerve injury-induced chronic pain.


Mensah-Nyagan AG, Meyer L, Patte-Mensah C


The brain and spinal cord (SC) are both targeted by various hormones, including steroid hormones. However, investigations of the modulatory role of hormones on neurobiological functions usually focus only on the brain. The SC received little attention although this structure pivotally controls motor and sensory functions. Here, we critically reviewed key data showing that the process of neurosteroid biosynthesis or neurosteroidogenesis occurring in the SC plays a pivotal role in the modulation of peripheral nerve injury-induced chronic pain (PNICP) or neuropathic pain. Indeed, several active steroidogenic enzymes expressed in the SC produce endogenous neurosteroids that interact with receptors of neurotransmitters controlling pain. The spinal neurosteroidogenesis is differentially regulated during PNICP condition and its blockade modifies painful sensations. The paper suggests that future investigations aiming to develop effective strategies against PNICP or neuropathic pain must integrate in a gender or sex dependent manner the regulatory effects exerted by spinal neurosteroidogenesis.