Transcriptional regulation in microglia and neuropathic pain

Written by Takahiro Masuda, Makoto Tsuda & Kazuhide Inoue

Microglia are the highly dynamic immune-related glial cells, also known as the specialized tissue macrophage of the CNS [1–3]. Under physiological conditions, these cells are characterized by small cell bodies with actively moving branched processes that survey the surrounding local environment for pathological alterations or disturbances to maintain brain homeostasis [4]. Because microglia have diverse roles during development, infection, aging and neurodegenerative disease [5], they thus exhibit a wide variety of phenotypes, thereby allowing specifically adapted functions, including phagocytosis and synapse remodeling [1,6–7]. Accumulating evidence has also demonstrated the crucial involvement of microglia in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain [8,9]....

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