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Evaluating the Role of CXCR3 in Pain Modulation: A Literature Review

Authors Aloyouny AY, Bepari A, Rahman I

Received 20 March 2020

Accepted for publication 17 July 2020

Published 6 August 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1987—2001


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert B. Raffa

Ashwag Yagoub Aloyouny,1 Asmatanzeem Bepari,2 Ishrat Rahman1

1College of Dentistry, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2College of Medicine, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Ishrat Rahman
Department of Basic Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, 5.4, Building Number 22, Airport Road, Al-Narjes, Riyadh 11671, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 540451780

Abstract: CXCR3 is a well-known receptor involved in immune cell recruitment and inflammation. Pathological inflammation leads to pain stimulation and hence nociception. Therefore, we decided to review the recent research on CXCR3 to identify its precise role in the modulation of pain in a variety of clinical conditions targeting various regions of the body. Studies were selected from PubMed Medline, which relate CXCR3 to the progression of diseases with either bone cancer pain, neuropathic pain, cystitis pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain, dental pain, in particular, periodontitis and pulpitis. In all the diseases studied, a high prevalence of CXCR3 and/or its ligand were identified where CXCR3 is a key player in the pathophysiological process of many inflammatory conditions. CXCR3 and its ligands, particularly CXCL10, modulate nociception via actions in the dorsal root ganglia and dorsal horn of the spinal cord, in cases of bone cancer pain, neuropathic, and joint pain. However, with the other studied disease, no direct link to pain has been made, although it contributes to the pathological progression of the diseases and hence would be a causal factor for the pain. Furthermore, CXCR3 appears to play a role in desensitizing the opioid receptor in the descending modulatory pathway within the brain stem as well as modulating opioid-induced hyperalgesia in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Further research is required for understanding the exact mechanisms of CXCR3 in pain modulation centrally and peripherally. A greater understanding of the immunological activities and pharmacological consequence of CXCR3 and its ligands could help in the discovery of newer drugs for modulating pain arising from pathogenic or inflammatory sources. Given the significance of the CXCR3 for nociception, its utilization may prove to be beneficial as a target for analgesia.

Keywords: chemokines, algesia, analgesia, opioid receptor, inflammation

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