Role of molecules expressed in spinal microglia in neuropathic pain

Makoto Tsuda, Kazuhide Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Physiological pain is an essential experience that alerts us to the presence of external or internal stimuli that are damaging or are potentially tissue-damaging. By contrast, pathological pain is not tied to the presence of tissue-damaging stimuli. One type of pathological pain-neuropathic pain-is often a consequence of nerve injury or of diseases such as diabetes, HIV AIDS or cancer, that damage peripheral nerves. Neuropathic pain can be agonizing, persistent over long periods, and, unfortunately, is often resistant to known pain-killers. Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms producing neuropathic pain have been made by defining causal roles of spinal microglia in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain as several molecules including P2X 4 receptors, which are present in activated microglia, have been found to be required molecular mediators. We expect that understanding the key roles of these molecules in spinal microglia may lead to new strategies for the management of neuropathic pain, strategies not previously anticipated by a neuron-centric view of pain plasticity in the dorsal horn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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