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Publication Detail
Epineural optogenetic activation of nociceptors initiates and amplifies inflammation
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Michoud F, Seehus C, Schönle P, Brun N, Taub D, Zhang Z, Jain A, Furfaro I, Akouissi O, Moon R, Meier P, Galan K, Doyle B, Tetreault M, Talbot S, Browne LE, Huang Q, Woolf CJ, Lacour SP
  • Publisher:
    Nature Publishing Group
  • Publication date:
    01/02/2021
  • Journal:
    Nature Biotechnology
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    1087-0156
  • PII:
    10.1038/s41587-020-0673-2
  • Language:
    eng
Abstract
Activation of nociceptor sensory neurons by noxious stimuli both triggers pain and increases capillary permeability and blood flow to produce neurogenic inflammation1,2, but whether nociceptors also interact with the immune system remains poorly understood. Here we report a neurotechnology for selective epineural optogenetic neuromodulation of nociceptors and demonstrate that nociceptor activation drives both protective pain behavior and inflammation. The wireless optoelectronic system consists of sub-millimeter-scale light-emitting diodes embedded in a soft, circumneural sciatic nerve implant, powered and driven by a miniaturized head-mounted control unit. Photostimulation of axons in freely moving mice that express channelrhodopsin only in nociceptors resulted in behaviors characteristic of pain, reflecting orthodromic input to the spinal cord. It also led to immune reactions in the skin in the absence of inflammation and potentiation of established inflammation, a consequence of the antidromic activation of nociceptor peripheral terminals. These results reveal a link between nociceptors and immune cells, which might have implications for the treatment of inflammation.
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