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Review
, 234 (2), 293-301

Purinergic Systems, Neuropathic Pain and the Role of Microglia

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Review

Purinergic Systems, Neuropathic Pain and the Role of Microglia

Kazuhide Inoue et al. Exp Neurol.

Abstract

We have learned various data on the role of purinoceptors (P2X4, P2X7, P2Y6 and P2Y12) expressed in spinal microglia and several factors that presumably activate microglia in neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve injury. Purinergic receptor-mediated spinal microglial functions make a critical contribution to pathologically enhanced pain processing in the dorsal horn. Microglial purinoceptors might be promising targets for treating neuropathic pain. A predicted therapeutic benefit of interfering with microglial purinergic receptors may be that normal pain sensitivity would be unaffected since expression or activity of most of these receptors are upregulated or enhanced predominantly in activated microglia in the spinal cord where damaged sensory fibers project.

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