Spinal hyperexcitability is a hallmark of many chronic pain states. Communication between glial cells, immune mediators and neurons plays an important role in generation and maintenance of spinal hyperexcitability. Whilst the significance of such interactions between different cell types is evident, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Fundamental open questions are: 1) which cytokines are important for generation and maintenance of hyperexcitability; 2) do individual cytokines act independently or do they act as a functional network in which specific interactions take place; 3) are there critical time windows for the action of different cytokines.
Topic 2 (ESR8)
Tight regulation of homeostasis in brain and spinal cord is required for normal neuronal function. Maintenance of homeostasis involves control of changes in extracellular fluid volume, ion concentrations and pH, perfusion and vascular permeability, turnover of transmitters/mediators and energy supply. These changes can be measured by using ion selective electrodes, an approach that has provided evidence for brain extracellular volume changes in AD models. This observation leads to the following questions: 1) are changes in the milieu in neurodegenerative disease restricted to the brain or do they also occur in brain stem or spinal cord; 2) does neuroinflammation – during the course of chronic systemic inflammation – cause significant alterations of brain and brain stem/spinal cord homeostasis; 3) are brain and brain stem/spinal cord homeostatic responses to noxious stimuli different in neurodegeneration compared to healthy brain; 4) are cytokines and neuropeptides major effectors.
“This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 764860”.