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A transcriptional toolbox for exploring peripheral neuro-immune interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhi Liang, Zoe Hore, Peter Harley, Federico Uchenna Stanley, Aleksandra Michrowska, Monica Dahiya, Federica La Russa, Sara E Jager, Sara Villa-Hernandez, Franziska Denk

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2020


  • PAIN-D-19-01137R2 ms

    PAIN_D_19_01137R2_ms.docx, 163 KB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document


    Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors


Correct communication between immune cells and peripheral neurons is crucial for the protection of our bodies. Its breakdown is observed in many common, often painful conditions, including arthritis, neuropathies and inflammatory bowel or bladder disease. Here, we have characterised the immune response in a mouse model of neuropathic pain using flow cytometry and cell-type specific RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). We found few striking sex differences, but a very persistent inflammatory response, with increased numbers of monocytes and macrophages up to 3½ months after the initial injury. This raises the question of whether the commonly used categorisation of pain into "inflammatory" and "neuropathic" is one that is mechanistically appropriate. Finally, we collated our data with other published RNA-seq datasets on neurons, macrophages and Schwann cells in naïve and nerve injury states. The result is a practical web-based tool for the transcriptional data-mining of peripheral neuroimmune interactions.

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