Neuroimmune modulation of pain and regenerative pain medicine

J Clin Invest. 2020 May 1;130(5):2164-2176. doi: 10.1172/JCI134439.


Regenerative pain medicine, which seeks to harness the body's own reparative capacity, is rapidly emerging as a field within pain medicine and orthopedics. It is increasingly appreciated that common analgesic mechanisms for these treatments depend on neuroimmune modulation. In this Review, we discuss recent progress in mechanistic understanding of nociceptive sensitization in chronic pain with a focus on neuroimmune modulation. We also examine the spectrum of regenerative outcomes, including preclinical and clinical outcomes. We further distinguish the analgesic mechanisms of regenerative therapies from those of cellular replacement, creating a conceptual and mechanistic framework to evaluate future research on regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Pain* / immunology
  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neuroimmunomodulation*
  • Regenerative Medicine*