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Astrocytes as a novel target against chronic pain disorder

Lijster, T (2017) Astrocytes as a novel target against chronic pain disorder. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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The human nervous system is of interest in many fields of research. A lot is known about the human nervous system. Different neurons carry particular signals from and to the brain for processing. Like nociceptive neurons, causing a painful sensation. When activated these neurons signal from the peripheral nervous system towards the spinal cord simultaneously creating a reflex and sending the signal to the brain. After injury, these signals can turn malignant creating nonstop signaling, even after healing, inducing a pain sensation that does not diminish thus creating chronic pain. Most research from the past about chronic pain had been on neurons, but there is a large group of cells from the nervous system that has not been thoroughly studied called glial cells. Glial cells are about a factor ten to fifty more common in the central nervous system. In this thesis, the focus will lie on astrocytes as a novel target to counter chronic pain. The activation of astrocytes is a prerequisite to the induction of allodynia and hyperalgesia. Furthermore, the protein that is responsible for this is GFAP and its upregulation during and after injury because if the GFAP protein is disabled there is no long term allodynia. It is shown that the activation of the σ1 receptor, as well as TNF-α, induced activation of the Erk2 and JNK MAPK pathway respectively which in turn activated the upregulation of the GFAP protein, astrogliosis and in turn allodynia and hyperalgesia.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:30

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