<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=217082&amp;fmt=gif">

MD Biosciences Blog

Toll-like Receptor Family Member 4 (TLR4) in Neuropathic Pain

Posted by MD Biosciences

Find me on:
on Mar 19, 2012 10:55:00 AM

microglial activation pathway in neuropathic pain, preclinical contract research, pre-clinical pain CRO, neuropathic pain

In the context of neuropathic pain (NP), toll-like receptor member 4 (TLR4) is known to be expressed exclusively on spinal microglia and significantly up-regulated upon peripheral nerve injury. TLR4-knockout mice display reduced effects of chronic chonstriction injury (CCI) induced nerve damage. Similary, TLR4 loss-of-function mutant mice as well as TLR4 antisense oligonucleotide-treated rats both display attenuated neuropathic pain symptoms after nerve damage. Further, intrathecal administration of a TLR4 antagonist after CCI treatment results in relief of neuropathic pain symptoms. Many exogenous and endogenous ligands are known to stimulate TLR4-mediated signaling. However, both in vitro and in vivo studies involving spinal nerve ligation (SNL) treated animals implicate Fibronectin in neuropathic pain-related TLR4 signaling. Fibronectin is an extracellular matrix protein that is commonly produced in response to tissue injury. When administered intrathecally to intact rats, Fibronectin induces microglial up-regulation of the purigenic receptor, P2X4, and symptoms of neuropathic pain. This stimulation of P2X4 expression can be suppressed by interuption of Fibronectin binding the TLR4 receptor after SNL injury in rats. 

Download the rest of the eBook on 5 key pathways to microglial activation.

microglia in neuropathic pain, pre-clinical contract research, preclinical CRO 


  1. Milligan, E.D. and Watkins, L.R. (2009) Pathological and protective roles of glia in chronic pain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 10(1):23-36.
  2. Inoue, K and Tsuda, M (2009) Microglia and neuropathic pain. Glia 57(14):1469-1479.
  3. Graeber, M.B. (2010) Changing face of microglia. Science 330(6005):783-788.
  4. Smith, H.S. (2010) Activated microglia in nociception. Pain Physician 13(3):295-304.

Topics: Pain