Cytokine and chemokine regulation of sensory neuron function

Richard J. Miller, Hosung Jung, Sonia K. Bhangoo, Fletcher A. White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

203 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pain normally subserves a vital role in the survival of the organism, prompting the avoidance of situations associated with tissue damage. However, the sensation of pain can become dissociated from its normal physiological role. In conditions of neuropathic pain, spontaneous or hypersensitive pain behavior occurs in the absence of the appropriate stimuli. Our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms underlying chronic pain hypersensitivity accounts for the general ineffectiveness of currently available options for the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. Despite its complex pathophysiological nature, it is clear that neuropathic pain is associated with short- and long-term changes in the excitability of sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) as well as their central connections. Recent evidence suggests that the upregulated expression of inflammatory cytokines in association with tissue damage or infection triggers the observed hyperexcitability of pain sensory neurons. The actions of inflammatory cytokines synthesized by DRG neurons and associated glial cells, as well as by astrocytes and microglia in the spinal cord, can produce changes in the excitability of nociceptive sensory neurons. These changes include rapid alterations in the properties of ion channels expressed by these neurons, as well as longer-term changes resulting from new gene transcription. In this chapter we review the diverse changes produced by inflammatory cytokines in the behavior of sensory neurons in the context of chronic pain syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
EditorsBrendan Canning, Domenico Spina
Pages417-449
Number of pages33
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 12 2009

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Volume194
ISSN (Print)0171-2004

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Keywords

  • Chemokine
  • Cytokine
  • Drg
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Miller, R. J., Jung, H., Bhangoo, S. K., & White, F. A. (2009). Cytokine and chemokine regulation of sensory neuron function. In B. Canning, & D. Spina (Eds.), Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology (pp. 417-449). (Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology; Vol. 194). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-79090-7_12