Inhibitory synaptic pruning as a substrate of neuropathic pain

Funding Details
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Grant type: Project Grant
  • Year: 2019/20
  • Total Funding: $100,000
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Project Summary

Chronic pain does not serve any useful purpose and is now considered a disease by itself. Unfortunately, it is often poorly managed in the clinic as we still have a limited knowledge of what causes it. Neuropathic pain is a form of chronic pain that sometimes appears after lesions to nerves and is particularly difficult to treat. Understanding the changes in neuronal connections (synapses) that process sensory information in the spinal cord is essential for developing better treatments. Here we propose that after nerve damage, there is a loss of a specific type of synapse that control pain transmission by inhibiting the hyperactivity of neuronal networks in the spinal cord, and that such loss is mediated by resident immune cells of the nervous system. The detailed mechanisms of this will be investigated in mouse models of neuropathic pain. The information obtained with this research will provide important clues for the development of new approaches to treat chronic pain after nerve lesions. A multidisciplinary approach will be used for these investigations.