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TOBeATPAIN Project 9: Neuroinflammation in pain and nerve degeneration and regeneration in peripheral neuropathies

Early Stage Researcher 9 – Patricia García Fernández

Individual Research Project 9
Project Title: Neuroinflammation in pain and nerve degeneration and regeneration in peripheral neuropathies
Supervisor: Prof. Claudia Sommer (UKW, clinical)
Co-supervisor(s): Dr. A. Ebersberger (UKJ) and Dr. S. Schoenbichler (Bionorica)

The balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators after nerve injury and in polyneuropathies not only determines painfulness of the disease, but also modulates nerve degeneration and regeneration. This project will evaluate the profiles of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression and secretion in peripheral blood leukocytes, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and CSF lymphocytes, macrophages and Schwann cells isolated from patients’ nerve biopsies.

ESR 9 will:

  1. Prospectively characterize patients with neuropathies for their pain phenotypes;
  2. Isolate white blood cells and measure cyto(chemo)kine expression and secretion upon stimulation (ELISA), analyse CSF cyto(chemo)kine expression and production (ELISA), perform laser capture microdissection on nerve biopsies for single cell PCR, and establish Schwann cell culture from nerve biopsies for stimulation studies;
  3. Repeat these analyses after standard anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapy, and follow-up patient pain and functional outcome; and 4) examine the effect of selected CSF cytokines on spinal cord neurons excitability (in vivo electrophysiology in mouse).

Trials Design

Expected results

Definition of cyto(chemo)kines influence on pain and nerve de- and re-generation in neuropathies.

Secondment(s): Bionorica (3 months). LC-MS bioanalytical investigation of blood samples. UKJ (3 months). Assess selected cyto(chemo)kines in spinal cord neurophysiology.

Project status: Ongoing