Site-specific subtypes of macrophages recruited after peripheral nerve injury

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After partial ligation of mouse sciatic nerve, the subtypes of macrophages were examined in the injured nerve and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Many M1 macrophages, which were inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-positive and arginase-1 (Arg-1)-negative, and neutrophils infiltrated the injured nerve. In contrast, almost all macrophages infiltrating the ipsilateral side of DRGs after the nerve injury were iNOS−/Arg-1+, M2 type. The infiltration of M1 and M2 macrophages was first observed in the injured nerve and ipsilateral DRGs on days 1 and 2, respectively. In addition, the macrophage infiltration preceded the activation of microglia in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of spinal cord. Thus, infiltrating macrophages after peripheral nerve injury may play unique roles dependent on the location in the development of neuropathic pain.

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