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

Direct evidence for spinal cord microglia in the development of a neuropathic pain-like state in mice.

The present study was undertaken to further investigate the role of glial cells in the development of the neuropathic pain-like state induced by sciatic nerve ligation in mice. At 7 days after sciatic nerve ligation, the immunoreactivities (IRs) of the specific astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and the specific microglial marker OX-42, but not the specific oligodendrocyte marker O4, were increased on the ipsilateral side of the spinal cord dorsal horn in nerve-ligated mice compared with that on the contralateral side. Furthermore, a single intrathecal injection of activated spinal cord microglia, but not astrocytes, caused thermal hyperalgesia in naive mice. Furthermore, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells on the ipsilateral dorsal horn of the spinal cord were significantly increased at 7 days after nerve ligation and were highly co-localized with another microglia marker, ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1), but neither with GFAP nor a specific neural nuclei marker, NeuN, in the spinal dorsal horn of nerve-ligated mice. The present data strongly support the idea that spinal cord astrocytes and microglia are activated under the neuropathic pain-like state, and that the proliferated and activated microglia directly contribute to the development of a neuropathic pain-like state in mice.[1]


  1. Direct evidence for spinal cord microglia in the development of a neuropathic pain-like state in mice. Narita, M., Yoshida, T., Nakajima, M., Narita, M., Miyatake, M., Takagi, T., Yajima, Y., Suzuki, T. J. Neurochem. (2006) [Pubmed]
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