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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Feb 2023 - 24 Feb 2023

Basic Science, Psychology

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Neuropathic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities


Front Neurosci



P2X7 receptor-activated microglia in cortex is critical for sleep disorder under neuropathic pain.


Li T, Gao Y, He M, Gui Z, Zhao B, Cao Y, Chen T, Zhu J, Wang J, Zhong Q, Zhang Z


Neuropathic pain (NP) is associated with sleep disturbances, which may substantially influence the quality of life. Clinical and animal studies demonstrated that neurotransmitter is one of the main contributors to cause sleep disturbances induced by NP. Recently, it was reported that P2X7 receptors (P2X7R) are widely expressed in microglia, which serves crucial role in neuronal activity in the pain and sleep-awake cycle. In this study, we adopted the chronic constriction injury (CCI) model to establish the progress of chronic pain and investigated whether P2X7R of microglia in cortex played a critical role in sleep disturbance induced by NP. At electroencephalogram (EEG) level, sleep disturbance was observed in mice treated with CCI as they exhibited mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity, and inhibition of P2X7R ameliorated these changes. We showed a dramatic high level of P2X7R and Iba-1 co-expression in the cortical region, and the inhibition of P2X7R also adversely affected it. Furthermore, the power of LFPs in ventral posterior nucleus (VP) and primary somatosensory cortex (S1) which changed in the CCI group was adverse after the inhibition of P2X7R. Furthermore, inhibition of P2X7R also decreased the VP-S1 coherence which increased in CCI group. Nuclear magnetic resonance demonstrated inhibition of P2X7R decreased glutamate (Glu) levels in thalamic and cortical regions which were significantly increased in the CCI mice. Our findings provide evidence that NP has a critical effect on neuronal activity linked to sleep and may built up a new target for the development of sleep disturbances under chronic pain conditions.