The contributing role of CD14 in toll-like receptor 4 dependent neuropathic pain

Neuroscience. 2009 Jan 23;158(2):896-903. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.10.004. Epub 2008 Oct 7.


We have previously demonstrated that CNS toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a key role in the development of behavioral hypersensitivity in a rodent model of neuropathic pain, spinal nerve L5 transection (L5Tx). TLR4 is a well-known receptor for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in innate immune responses. In the current study, we further investigated the role of CD14, an accessory molecule in the LPS-TLR4 signaling pathway, in the development of L5Tx-induced neuropathic pain. CD14 knockout (KO) mice displayed significantly decreased behavioral sensitivity (mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia) as early as day 1 post-L5Tx, indicating a nociceptive role of CD14. By flow cytometric analyses, we observed significantly elevated microglial surface CD14 expression in the ipsilateral lumbar spinal cord 3 days post-L5Tx, as well as remarkable increases in microglial size (via forward scatter (FSC)) and granularity (via side scatter (SSC)). Further, intrathecal injection of soluble CD14 induced significantly greater mechanical hypersensitivity in wild type (C3H/HeN) mice compared with TLR4-deficient (C3H/HeJ) mice. Together, these data demonstrate that CD14 plays a contributing role in TLR4-dependent nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy / methods
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / genetics
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neuralgia / metabolism*
  • Neuralgia / pathology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / drug effects
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / deficiency
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / physiology*


  • CD11b Antigen
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4