Francesca Izzi1, Dominik Loser2, 3, 4 and Paolo Cesare1
1 Neuro Microphysiological Systems Group, Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany, 2 Life Sciences Faculty, Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, Sigmaringen, Germany; 3 NMI-TT GmbH, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany; 4 Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany.
Neuropathic Pain (NP) is frequently associated with peripheral nerve injury or disease. Experimental models of neuropathic pain showed that non-neuronal cells play a very active role in the development of sensory abnormalities, but the exact mechanisms haven’t been clarified yet. By using a high-density multiple electrode array (MEA) system, we are able to record the electrical activity of both pure sensory neurons and co-cultures of neurons-glia. Surprisingly, cultures of pure neurons show no electrical activity in response to capsaicin application, suggesting a role for non-neuronal cells in the development of pain abnormalities. The implementation of neuron-glia co-cultures and the functional characterization of their interaction mechanisms could then lead to the identification of novel targets and biomarkers involved in NP.