November 26, 2018
A study led by Alexa Wakley, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow in the Ling Cao laboratory, was recently published in eNeuro, an open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Society for Neuroscience.
The study looked at the role of a molecule, CD137 ligand (CD137L), in the development of a painful condition called neuropathic pain, which is caused by a damaged nervous system.
CD137L is a molecule known to stimulate immune cell activation. Its role in neuropathic pain was previously unknown.
The authors used an animal model to examine how the molecule influences sensory sensitivities following nerve injury. They also evaluated inflammation-related changes in the spinal cord.
Results of the study indicate that spinal cord CD137L contributes to the development of nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain, by altering inflammatory factors within the spinal cord.
The study was co-authored by Reno Leeming, M.S., ’16, Jennifer Malon, M.P.H., ’14, and Taxiarhia Arabatzis, M.S., ’17, all former members in the lab of Ling Cao, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Woon Yuen Koh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, helped with the statistics on the project.
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institution of Health (NIH) and the COBRE Imaging Core facility that was established through the COBRE grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at NIH.