RGD Reference Report - TNF-alpha expression in painful and nonpainful neuropathies. - Rat Genome Database

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TNF-alpha expression in painful and nonpainful neuropathies.

Authors: Empl, M  Renaud, S  Erne, B  Fuhr, P  Straube, A  Schaeren-Wiemers, N  Steck, AJ 
Citation: Empl M, etal., Neurology. 2001 May 22;56(10):1371-7.
RGD ID: 7394735
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:11376190

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) acts as a pain mediator in neuropathic pain in humans. BACKGROUND: In animal models, inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha have been shown to facilitate neuropathic pain. METHODS: The expression of TNF-alpha was analyzed immunohistochemically in 20 human nerve biopsy specimens of patients with painful (n = 10) and nonpainful (n = 10) neuropathies. Additionally, serum soluble TNF-alpha receptor I (sTNF-RI) levels were determined in 24 patients with neuropathies, 16 of which were painful and 8 that were painless. RESULTS: Colocalization studies by confocal fluorescence microscopy for S-100 and TNF-alpha showed expression of TNF-alpha in human Schwann cells. Patients with painful neuropathies showed a stronger TNF-alpha immunoreactivity in myelinating Schwann cells relative to the epineurial background staining compared with patients with nonpainful neuropathy (0.949 +/- 0.047 vs 1.010 +/- 0.053, p < 0.05). Although there was no difference in sTNF-RI levels between painful (n = 16) and nonpainful (n = 8) neuropathies (sTNF-RI: 1412 +/- 545 pg/mL vs 1,318 +/- 175 pg/mL), patients with a mechanical allodynia (n = 9) had elevated serum sTNF-RI (1627 +/- 645 pg/mL vs 1233 +/- 192 pg/mL, p < 0.05) compared with patients without allodynia (n = 15). CONCLUSIONS: TNF-alpha expression of human Schwann cells may be up-regulated in painful neuropathies. The elevation of sTNF-RI in patients with centrally mediated mechanical allodynia suggests that systemic sTNF-RI levels may influence central pain processing mechanisms.


Disease Annotations    
Painful Neuropathy  (IEP,ISO)

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Tnf  (tumor necrosis factor)

Genes (Mus musculus)
Tnf  (tumor necrosis factor)

Genes (Homo sapiens)
TNF  (tumor necrosis factor)

Additional Information