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Involvement of macrophages and spinal microglia in osteoarthritis pain


Pan, T-T and Pan, F and Gao, W and Hu, S-s and Wang, D, Involvement of macrophages and spinal microglia in osteoarthritis pain, Current Rheumatology Reports, 23, (5) pp. 1-7. ISSN 1523-3774 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature 2021

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11926-021-00997-w


Purpose of Review: Chronic pain in osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by pain sensitization, which involves both peripheral and central mechanisms. Studies suggest synovial macrophage and spinal microglia are implicated in pain sensitization in OA. We, therefore, reviewed the evidence of whether synovial macrophage and spinal microglia facilitated pain sensitization at diverse levels and how this event occurred in OA.

Recent Findings: Peripherally, joint inflammation is now believed to be a source of OA-related pain. Synovial macrophages accumulate in OA inflamed synovium and display a pro-inflammatory phenotype. Abundant macrophage-derived pro-inflammatory cytokines and other pain-causing substance facilitate hyperexcitation of primary sensory neuron in OA-related pain. Thus, activated synovial macrophage was considered a predictor for phenotyping of OA pain clinically. In response to affected joint-derived strong nociception, aberrant neuronal excitability is often associated with the hyperactivity of microglia in the spinal dorsal horn, thereby leading to central sensitization.

Summary: Hyperactivity of synovial macrophage and spinal microglia underlies the mechanisms of pain sensitization at the peripheral and central level in OA. This concept provides not only a clinically relevant strategy for identifying the phenotype of OA-related pain but also has the potential to develop individualized interventions for OA, particularly in those patients with hyperactivity of macrophage and microglia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:osteoarthritis, pain, pain phenotype, pain sensitization, spinal microglia, synovial macrophages.
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Rheumatology and arthritis
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Human pain management
UTAS Author:Pan, F (Dr Feng Pan)
ID Code:144918
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-21
Last Modified:2021-09-30

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