Neuroinflammation and Central Sensitization in Chronic and Widespread Pain.

Published

Journal Article (Review)

Chronic pain is maintained in part by central sensitization, a phenomenon of synaptic plasticity, and increased neuronal responsiveness in central pain pathways after painful insults. Accumulating evidence suggests that central sensitization is also driven by neuroinflammation in the peripheral and central nervous system. A characteristic feature of neuroinflammation is the activation of glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, in the spinal cord and brain, leading to the release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Recent studies suggest that central cytokines and chemokines are powerful neuromodulators and play a sufficient role in inducing hyperalgesia and allodynia after central nervous system administration. Sustained increase of cytokines and chemokines in the central nervous system also promotes chronic widespread pain that affects multiple body sites. Thus, neuroinflammation drives widespread chronic pain via central sensitization. We also discuss sex-dependent glial/immune signaling in chronic pain and new therapeutic approaches that control neuroinflammation for the resolution of chronic pain.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ji, R-R; Nackley, A; Huh, Y; Terrando, N; Maixner, W

Published Date

  • August 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 129 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 343 - 366

PubMed ID

  • 29462012

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29462012

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-1175

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-3022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/aln.0000000000002130

Language

  • eng