Microglia in Pain: Detrimental and Protective Roles in Pathogenesis and Resolution of Pain.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The previous decade has seen a rapid increase in microglial studies on pain, with a unique focus on microgliosis in the spinal cord after nerve injury and neuropathic pain. Numerous signaling molecules are altered in microglia and contribute to the pathogenesis of pain. Here, we discuss how microglial signaling regulates spinal cord synaptic plasticity in acute and chronic pain conditions with different degrees and variations of microgliosis. We highlight that microglial mediators such as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are powerful neuromodulators that regulate synaptic transmission and pain via neuron-glial interactions. We also reveal an emerging role of microglia in the resolution of pain, in part via specialized pro-resolving mediators including resolvins, protectins, and maresins. We also discuss a possible role of microglia in chronic itch.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, G; Zhang, Y-Q; Qadri, YJ; Serhan, CN; Ji, R-R

Published Date

  • December 19, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1292 - 1311

PubMed ID

  • 30571942

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6312407

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4199

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States