Immune Cytokines and Their Receptors in Inflammatory Pain

Andrew D. Cook, Anne D. Christensen, Damini Tewari, Stephen B. McMahon, John A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


There is burgeoning interest in the interaction between the immune and nervous systems. Pain is mediated by primary sensory neurons (nociceptors) that can respond to a variety of thermal, mechanical and chemical signals. Cytokines are now recognized as important mediators of inflammatory pain. They can induce nociceptor sensitization indirectly via mediators, wherein neurons become primed and thus become more responsive to stimulation; alternatively, there is also evidence that cytokines can directly activate neurons via their specific receptors present on the neuronal cells. We review here the evidence for and against these respective mechanisms, focusing on arthritis and inflammatory skin models. A number of striking inconsistencies amongst the conclusions made in the literature are highlighted and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Immunology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2018


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