Journal of neuroimmunology

Selective expression of Narp in primary nociceptive neurons: role in microglia/macrophage activation following nerve injury.

PMID 25005116


Neuronal activity regulated pentraxin (Narp) is a secreted protein implicated in regulating synaptic plasticity via its association with the extracellular surface of AMPA receptors. We found robust Narp immunostaining in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) that is largely restricted to small diameter neurons, and in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. In double staining studies of DRG, we found that Narp is expressed in both IB4- and CGRP-positive neurons, markers of distinct populations of nociceptive neurons. Although a panel of standard pain behavioral assays were unaffected by Narp deletion, we found that Narp knockout mice displayed an exaggerated microglia/macrophage response in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord to sciatic nerve transection 3days after surgery compared with wild type mice. As other members of the pentraxin family have been implicated in regulating innate immunity, these findings suggest that Narp, and perhaps other neuronal pentraxins, also regulate inflammation in the nervous system.