In patients with HIV/AIDS, neuropathic pain is a common neurological complication. Infection with the HIV itself may lead to neuropathic pain, and painful symptoms are enhanced when patients are treated with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). The mechanisms by which NRTIs contribute to the development of neuropathic pain are not known. In the current studies, we tested the role of TNFα in antiretroviral drug-induced neuropathic pain. We administered 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC, one of the NRTIs) systemically to induce mechanical allodynia. We found that ddC induced overexpression of both mRNA and proteins of GFAP and TNFα in the spinal dorsal horn. TNFα was colocalized with GFAP in the spinal dorsal horn and with NeuN in the DRG. Knockdown of TNFα with siRNA blocked the mechanical allodynia induced by ddC. Intrathecal administration of glial inhibitor or recombinant TNF soluble receptor, reversed mechanical allodynia induced by ddC. These results suggest that TNFα is involved in NRTI-induced neuropathic pain.
- Neuropathic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems