Central nervous system targets: inhibitory interneurons in the spinal cord

Hughes, D. I. and Todd, A. (2020) Central nervous system targets: inhibitory interneurons in the spinal cord. Neurotherapeutics, 17(3), pp. 874-885. (doi: 10.1007/s13311-020-00936-0) (PMID:33029722)

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Pain is a percept of critical importance to our daily survival. In most cases, it serves both an adaptive function by helping us respond appropriately in a potentially hostile environment and also a protective role by alerting us to tissue damage. Normally, it is evoked by the activation of peripheral nociceptive nerve endings and the subsequent relay of information to distinct cortical and sub-cortical regions, but under pathological conditions that result in chronic pain, it can become spontaneous. Given that one in three chronic pain patients do not respond to the treatments currently available, the need for more effective analgesics is evident. Two principal obstacles to the development of novel analgesic therapies are our limited understanding of how neuronal circuits that comprise these pain pathways transmit and modulate sensory information under normal circumstances and how these circuits change under pathological conditions leading to chronic pain states. In this review, we focus on the role of inhibitory interneurons in setting pain thresholds and, in particular, how disinhibition in the spinal dorsal horn can lead to aberrant sensory processing associated with chronic pain states.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hughes, Dr David I and Todd, Professor Andrew
Authors: Hughes, D. I., and Todd, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Neurotherapeutics
ISSN (Online):1878-7479
Published Online:07 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Neurotherapeutics 17(3) 874-885
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
174050Determining the role of calretinin-RorB spinal interneurons in modulating mechanical painDavid I HughesBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P007996/1Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology
172232The role of NPY-containing inhibitory interneurons in spinal pain pathwaysAndrew ToddBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N006119/1NP - Centre for Neuroscience
302893Neuronal circuits for itch in the spinal dorsal hornAndrew ToddMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/S002987/1NP - Centre for Neuroscience