The Neuroimmunology of Chronic Pain: From Rodents to Humans.

Affiliation

Grace PM(1), Tawfik VL(2), Svensson CI(3), Burton MD(4), Loggia ML(5), Hutchinson MR(6).
Author information:
(1)Laboratories of Neuroimmunology, Department of Symptom Research, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030 [Email]
(2)Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305.
(3)Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 171 77.
(4)Neuroimmunology and Behavior Laboratory, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Center for Advanced Pain Studies, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080.
(5)Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02129.
(6)Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics and Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia.

Abstract

Chronic pain, encompassing conditions, such as low back pain, arthritis, persistent post-surgical pain, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain disorders, is highly prevalent but remains poorly treated. The vast majority of therapeutics are directed solely at neurons, despite the fact that signaling between immune cells, glia, and neurons is now recognized as indispensable for the initiation and maintenance of chronic pain. This review highlights recent advances in understanding fundamental neuroimmune signaling mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets in rodent models of chronic pain. We further discuss new technological developments to study, diagnose, and quantify neuroimmune contributions to chronic pain in patient populations.