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Painful Inflammatory Responses

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Science  18 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5631, pp. 281
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5631.281b

Chronic neuropathic pain (due to nerve damage) is a condition that can interfere with the simple activities of daily life and remains poorly understood. Abbadie et al. compared the responses of wild-type mice and mutant mice lacking chemotactic cytokine receptor 2 (CCR2), which mediates the inflammatory response of monocytes, in several models for pain. After injury to the sciatic nerve, the mutant mice lacked the typical behavioral response associated with chronic neuropathic pain, whereas in wild-type mice, injury led to higher levels of CCR2 in the sciatic nerve and dorsal root ganglia. In addition, CCR2-immunoreactive macrophages were identified in the sciatic nerve, and CCR2-immunoreactive microglia were observed in the spinal cord. On the other hand, the CCR2-deficient mice had fewer astrocytes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord after nerve injury than did wild-type mice and showed lower levels of glial activation, consistent with common pathways being recruited in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. — EA

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100, 7947 (2003).

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