Research in male mice published in JNeurosci demonstrates activation of microglia in the spinal cord is responsible for increased pain sensitivity in response to stress.
John Sheridan and colleagues identified an inflammatory environment in the spinal cord caused by repeated exposure to an aggressive mouse -- an established model of psychosocial stress -- that accompanied lower pain thresholds observed in the stressed mice. Stress increased expression of inflammatory genes and activation of microglia in spinal cord regions involved in pain processing. Eliminating microglia from the spinal cord prevented these effects. These findings suggest a new cellular target for alleviating stress-induced pain.
Article: Microglia Promote Increased Pain Behavior through Enhanced Inflammation in the Spinal Cord During Repeated Social Defeat Stress
Corresponding author: Johnathan Godbout (The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA), Jonathan.Godbout@osumc.edu
JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.
About The Society for Neuroscience
The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.