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Peripheral Mechanisms of Neuropathic Pain—The Role of Neuronal and Non-Neuronal Interactions and Their Implications for Topical Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

Authors
  • Kocot-Kępska, Magdalena1
  • Zajączkowska, Renata2
  • Mika, Joanna
  • Wordliczek, Jerzy2
  • Dobrogowski, Jan1
  • Przeklasa-Muszyńska, Anna1
  • 1 (A.P.-M.)
  • 2 (J.W.)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pharmaceuticals
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Jan 20, 2021
Volume
14
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ph14020077
PMID: 33498496
PMCID: PMC7909513
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Review
License
Green

Abstract

Neuropathic pain in humans arises as a consequence of injury or disease of somatosensory nervous system at peripheral or central level. Peripheral neuropathic pain is more common than central neuropathic pain, and is supposed to result from peripheral mechanisms, following nerve injury. The animal models of neuropathic pain show extensive functional and structural changes occurring in neuronal and non-neuronal cells in response to peripheral nerve injury. These pathological changes following damage lead to peripheral sensitization development, and subsequently to central sensitization initiation with spinal and supraspinal mechanism involved. The aim of this narrative review paper is to discuss the mechanisms engaged in peripheral neuropathic pain generation and maintenance, with special focus on the role of glial, immune, and epithelial cells in peripheral nociception. Based on the preclinical and clinical studies, interactions between neuronal and non-neuronal cells have been described, pointing out at the molecular/cellular underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain, which might be potentially targeted by topical treatments in clinical practice. The modulation of the complex neuro-immuno-cutaneous interactions in the periphery represents a strategy for the development of new topical analgesics and their utilization in clinical settings.

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