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Monocytes/macrophages in control of inflammatory pain

Friday 8 January 2016

Monocytes/macrophages in control of inflammatory pain

Dr. Niels Eijkelkamp

Tissue damage and inflammation is often associated with pain. However, pain often persists even after recovery of inflammation/damage. As such more than 20% of the total population suffers from chronic pain that is very difficult to treat. During chronic pain conditions, the macrophages of the central nervous system, microglia are activated and produce cytokine/chemokines that drive the sensitization of sensory neurons leading to chronic pain. Moreover in mouse models of chronic inflammatory pain, monocytes/macrophages migrate to the dorsal root ganglia that contain the soma of sensory neurons to control pain. How these interactions between the nervous system and the immune system ultimately lead to chronic pain is still poorly understood. This project is aimed at investigating the capacity of monocyte-derived macrophages to regulate pain in inflammatory and osteoarthritic conditions and provide proof-of-principle that different macrophage phenotypes control sensory neuron function.

FACS, cell sorting, immunohistochemistry, cell-culture, RNA isolatie, RT-PCR, monocyte isolation (mouse/human), macrophage polarization, adoptive transfers, involvement in animal research possible

6-9 months

Dr. Niels Eijkelkamp: N.Eijkelkamp@umcutrecht.nl