Researchers at Northwestern University have unveiled that calcium channels can help regulate neuroinflammation and neuropathic pain.
The findings were made available in Science Advances.
The research team sought to establish the role of Orai1 in microglial activation and neuropathic pain following nerve injury.
By using microglial Orai1 knockout mouse models, it was unveiled that when “Orai1 function was blocked or deleted, Orai1-mediated calcium signaling was lost,” resulting in a decrease in inflammatory cytokine production.
“There is strong interest in understanding the microglial checkpoints regulating neuroinflammation and several signaling cascades involving the P2X and P2Y receptors, and p38 MAP kinase has received much attention in activating spinal microglia following nerve injury,” according to the researchers.
“Together, these findings indicate that Orai1 channels are key regulators of the sexually dimorphic role of microglia for the neuroinflammation that underlies neuropathic pain.”