Patients suffering from neuropathic pain have a higher incidence of mood disorders such as depression. Increased expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been reported in neuropathic pain and depressive-like conditions and most of the pro-inflammatory effects of TNF are mediated by the TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1). Here we sought to investigate: (1) the occurrence of depressive-like behavior in chronic neuropathic pain and the associated forms of hippocampal plasticity, and (2) the involvement of TNFR1-mediated TNF signaling as a possible regulator of such events. Neuropathic pain was induced by chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve in wild-type and TNFR1-/- mice. Anhedonia, weight loss and physical state were measured as symptoms of depression. Hippocampal neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, myelin remodeling and TNF/TNFRs expression were analyzed by immunohistochemical analysis and western blot assay.We found that neuropathic pain resulted in the development of depressive symptoms in a time dependent manner and was associated with profound hippocampal alterations such as impaired neurogenesis, reduced expression of neuroplasticity markers and myelin proteins. The onset of depressive-like behavior also coincided with increased hippocampal levels of TNF, and decreased expression of TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2), which were all fully restored after mice spontaneously recovered from pain. Notably, TNFR1-/- mice did not develop depressive-like symptoms after injury, nor were there changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and plasticity.Our data show that neuropathic pain induces a cluster of depressive-like symptoms and profound hippocampal plasticity that are dependent on TNF signaling through TNFR1.
- Neuropathic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems