Activity-dependent postsynaptic receptor trafficking is critical for long-term synaptic plasticity in the brain, but it is unclear whether this mechanism actually mediates the spinal cord dorsal horn central sensitization (a specific form of synaptic plasticity) that is associated with persistent pain. Recent studies have shown that peripheral inflammation drives changes in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) subunit trafficking in the dorsal horn and that such changes contribute to the hypersensitivity that underlies persistent pain. Here, we review current evidence to illustrate how spinal cord AMPARs participate in the dorsal horn central sensitization associated with persistent pain. Understanding these mechanisms may allow the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating persistent pain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Dorsal horn
- Persistent pain
- Receptor trafficking