Effect of cytokines on neuronal excitability

Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jun 6;437(3):188-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.03.052. Epub 2008 Mar 22.


Numerous studies have shown that proinflammatory cytokines induce or facilitate pain and hyperalgesia in the presence of inflammation, injury to the nervous system or cancer. Besides acting as inflammatory mediators, increasing evidence indicates that cytokines may also specifically interact with receptor and ion channels regulating neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity and injury under both physiological and pathological conditions. Here we summarize findings on two prototypical proinflammatory cytokines, tumor-necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta, and their effects on neuronal excitability and ion channels with special regards to pain and hyperalgesia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Ion Channels
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha