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Glia: A new pain target 

Glia: A new pain target
Glia: A new pain target

Marzia Malcangio

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date: 27 October 2021

The landmark review discussed in this chapter, published in 2003 by Watkins and Maier, showed how glia have a major role in the modulation of pain mechanisms in the spinal cord and act remotely from peripheral nerve injury. This review led the way to a substantial body of literature demonstrating the pivotal role played by both microglia and astrocytes in chronic pain mechanisms. Since 2003 the modalities underlying neuron–microglia communication (e.g. chemokines, proteases, the translocator protein TSPO) have been dissected, and novel pathways of interactions delineated. Concrete molecular targets expressed by spinal microglia in response to a remote injury have been identified and they hold promise for future analgesic therapies for chronic pain.

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