Neuropathic Pain Causes a Decrease in the Dendritic Tree Complexity of Hippocampal CA3 Pyramidal Neurons
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- Catégories : Douleurs neuropathiques

AA Tyrtyshnaia, IV Manzhulo, SP Konovalova

A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russian Federation

Cell Tissues Organs

The International Pain Association defines neuropathic pain as ?an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.? Recent studies show that chronic neuropathic pain causes both morphological and functional changes within brain structures. Due to the impact of supraspinal centers on pain signal processing, patients with chronic pain often suffer from depression, anxiety, memory impairment, and learning disabilities. Changes in hippocampal neuronal and glial plasticity can play a substantial role in the development of these symptoms. Given the special role of the CA3 hippocampal area in chronic stress reactions, we suggested that this region may undergo significant morphological changes as a result of persistent pain. Since the CA3 area is involved in the implementation of hippocampus-dependent memory, changes in the neuronal morphology can cause cognitive impairment observed in chronic neuropathic pain. This study aimed to elucidate the structural and plastic changes within the hippocampus associated with dendritic tree atrophy of CA3 pyramidal neurons in mice with chronic sciatic nerve constriction. Behavioral testing revealed impaired working and long-term memory in mice with a chronic constriction injury. Using the Golgi-Cox method, we revealed a decrease in the number of branches and dendritic length of CA3 pyramidal neurons. The dendritic spine number was decreased, predominantly due to a reduction in mushroom spines. An _immunohistochemical study showed changes in astro- and microglial activity, which could affect the morphology of neurons both directly and indirectly via the regulation of neurotrophic factor synthesis. Using ELISA, we found a decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor production and an increase in neurotrophin-3 production. Morphological and biochemical changes in the CA3 area are accompanied by impaired working and long-term memory of animals. Thus, we can conclude that morphological and biochemical changes within the CA3 hippocampal area may underlie the cognitive impairment in neuropathic pain.

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