Wednesday, September 21st
Spinal Cord Microglial Heterogeneity as a Target for Chronic Pain
In this workshop, three speakers will discuss their recent research achievements in the field of glial biology and neuroimmunity in pain pathophysiology. Dr. Berta will present single-cell RNA sequencing data and the identification of the molecular heterogeneity of satellite glial cells (SGCs) and metalloproteinase signaling for the maintenance of homeostasis and discovery of new pain treatments. He will also discuss the similarities and differences between mouse and human SGCs, as well as the translational potential of this research. Dr. Cunha will highlight novel findings regarding the role of meningeal immune cells in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain. He will present data on the characterization of peripheral nerve injury triggers immune cells accumulation in the dorsal root leptomeninges and the mechanisms by which these cells account for neuropathic pain development. Dr. Tawfik will discuss the crucial role of microglia in the pathophysiology of chronic pain with specific focus on microglial heterogeneity based on RNA sequencing of sorted cell populations from both mice and human spinal cord. She will also discuss translational aspects of immune-glial modulation as a physician who treats patients with chronic pain.