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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Jun 2023 - 23 Jun 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Neuropathic Pain


PLoS One




The pro-resolving lipid mediator Maresin 1 ameliorates pain responses and neuroinflammation in the spared nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain: A study in male and female mice.


Teixeira-Santos L, Martins S, Sousa T, Albino-Teixeira A, Pinho D


Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) have recently emerged as promising therapeutic approaches for neuropathic pain (NP). We evaluated the effects of oral treatment with the SPM Maresin 1 (MaR1) on behavioral pain responses and spinal neuroinflammation in male and female C57BL/6J mice with spared nerve injury (SNI)-induced NP. MaR1, or vehicle, was administered once daily, on post-surgical days 3 to 5, by voluntary oral intake. Sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational components of pain were evaluated with von Frey and place escape/avoidance paradigm (PEAP) tests, respectively. Spinal microglial and astrocytic activation were assessed by immunofluorescence, and the spinal concentration of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) were evaluated by multiplex immunoassay. MaR1 treatment reduced SNI-induced mechanical hypersensitivity on days 7 and 11 in both male and female mice, and appeared to ameliorate the affective component of pain in males on day 11. No definitive conclusions could be drawn about the impact of MaR1 on the affective-motivational aspects of pain in female mice, since repeated suprathreshold mechanical stimulation of the affected paw in the dark compartment did not increase the preference of vehicle-treated SNI females for the light side, during the PEAP test session (a fundamental assumption for PAEP’s validity). MaR1 treatment also reduced ipsilateral spinal microglial and astrocytic activation in both sexes and marginally increased M-CSF in males, while not affecting cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 in either sex. In summary, our study has shown that oral treatment with MaR1 (i) produces antinociception even in an already installed peripheral NP mouse model, and (ii) this antinociception may extend for several days beyond the treatment time-frame. These therapeutic effects are associated with attenuated microglial and astrocytic activation in both sexes, and possibly involve modulation of M-CSF action in males.