Articles > The immune system: a new look at pain

The immune system: a new look at pain

The immune system: a new look at pain

ZHANG Jun-hua, HUANG Yu-guang

ZHANG Jun-hua Department of Anesthesiology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China; HUANG Yu-guang Department of Anesthesiology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China

Correspondence to: HUANG Yu-guang  Department of Anesthesiology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China  (Tel:86-10-65295580 Fax:86-10-65295580 Email:pumchhyg@yahoo. com.cn )

Abstract:

Objective  To review the relationship between the immune system and the mechanism of pain.
Data sources  Related researches published in the period of 1987-2005 were systematically reviewed.
Study selection  Articles about the immune system and pain were selected.
Data extraction  Data were mainly extracted from 74 articles which are listed in the reference section of this review.
Results  Pain was classically viewed as being mediated solely by neurons. However, growing evidence has showed the possible relationships between the immune system and the central nervous system. In this article, we reviewed the role of the immune system in the development of pain, together with the importance of the glia in this process. These findings suggest a novel approach to pain control in the future.
Conclusions  The immune system plays a potential but important role in the development of pain.

Source: Chinese Medical Journal, 2006, Vol. 119 No. 11 : 930-938


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