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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Depletion of macrophages reduces axonal degeneration and hyperalgesia following nerve injury.

Inflammatory mechanisms are believed to play an important role in hyperalgesia resulting from nerve injury. Hyperalgesia following nerve injury is temporally linked with Wallerian degeneration and macrophage recruitment, and is reduced in WLD mice, in which Wallerian degeneration is delayed. We sought more direct evidence that macrophages contribute to hyperalgesia and Wallerian degeneration by depleting macrophages with liposomes loaded with dichloromethylene diphosphonate (clodronate, Cl(2)MDP). Rats were subjected to partial ligation of the sciatic nerve. Intravenous injection of liposome-encapsulated clodronate reduced the number of macrophages in the injured nerve, alleviated thermal hyperalgesia and protected both myelinated and unmyelinated fibres against degeneration. The results confirm the role of circulating monocytes/macrophages in the development of neuropathic hyperalgesia and Wallerian degeneration due to partial nerve injury. Macrophage depletion immediately after nerve injury could have some clinical potential in prevention of neuropathic pain.[1]


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