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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2051; doi:10.3390/ijms18102051

Neuron–Glia Crosstalk and Neuropathic Pain: Involvement in the Modulation of Motor Activity in the Orofacial Region

1
Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University, 1780 Gobara Hirooka, Shiojiri, Nagano 399-0781, Japan
2
Department of Biology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University, 1780 Gobara, Hirooka, Shiojiri, Nagano 399-0781, Japan
3
Institute for Oral Science, Matsumoto Dental University, 1780 Gobara, Hirooka, Shiojiri, Nagano 399-0781, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease)
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Abstract

Neuropathic orofacial pain (NOP) is a debilitating condition. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of multiple mechanisms in the development of neuropathic pain. Recently, glial cells have been shown to play a key pathogenetic role. Nerve injury leads to an immune response near the site of injury. Satellite glial cells are activated in the peripheral ganglia. Various neural and immune mediators, released at the central terminals of primary afferents, lead to the sensitization of postsynaptic neurons and the activation of glia. The activated glia, in turn, release pro-inflammatory factors, further sensitizing the neurons, and resulting in central sensitization. Recently, we observed the involvement of glia in the alteration of orofacial motor activity in NOP. Microglia and astroglia were activated in the trigeminal sensory and motor nuclei, in parallel with altered motor functions and a decreased pain threshold. A microglial blocker attenuated the reduction in pain threshold, reduced the number of activated microglia, and restored motor activity. We also found an involvement of the astroglial glutamate–glutamine shuttle in the trigeminal motor nucleus in the alteration of the jaw reflex. Neuron–glia crosstalk thus plays an important role in the development of pain and altered motor activity in NOP. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite glial cells; microglia; astroglia; neuropathic orofacial pain; orofacial motor activity satellite glial cells; microglia; astroglia; neuropathic orofacial pain; orofacial motor activity
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Hossain, M.Z.; Unno, S.; Ando, H.; Masuda, Y.; Kitagawa, J. Neuron–Glia Crosstalk and Neuropathic Pain: Involvement in the Modulation of Motor Activity in the Orofacial Region. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2051.

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