NIPS-led researchers measured the heightened pain response when mice with a leg nerve injury were poked on the underside of a hind paw with a fine filament. Simultaneous live imaging of calcium ions in the brain's S1 cortex showed that certain signaling pathways were activated in astrocytes, a type of cell that helps neurons. Certain signaling pathways in S1 astrocytes were activated and triggered S1 cortex rewiring, contributing to mechanical hypersensitivity (allodynia). Such astrocyte-mediated changes in the brain may provide new clues for novel therapeutic strategies for treating debilitating mechanical allodynia
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