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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 901420, 8 pages
Research Article

Different Peripheral Tissue Injury Induces Differential Phenotypic Changes of Spinal Activated Microglia

1Center for TMD & Orofacial Pain, Peking University School & Hospital of Stomatology, Zhong Guan Cun South Avenue 22, Beijing 100081, China
2Department of General Dentistry II, Peking University School & Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing 100081, China
3Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2304, USA

Received 24 February 2013; Revised 4 May 2013; Accepted 16 May 2013

Academic Editor: Anirban Ghosh

Copyright © 2013 Kai Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the possible different cellular marker expression associated with spinal cord microglial activation in different pain models. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting analysis of CD45, CD68, and MHC class I antigen as well as CD11b and Iba-1 in the spinal cord were quantitatively compared among widely used three pain animal models, complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) injection, formalin injection, and chronic constriction injury (CCI) models. The results showed that significant upregulated expressions of CD45 and MHC class I antigen in spinal microglia as well as morphological changes with increased staining with CD11b and Iba-1 were seen in CCI and formalin models and not found in CFA-induced inflammatory pain model. CD68 expression was only detected in CCI model. Our findings suggested that different peripheral tissue injuries produced differential phenotypic changes associated with spinal microglial activation; peripheral nerve injury might induce spinal microglia to acquire these immunomolecular phenotypic changes.