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The Effect of Pregabalin on Microglia Differentiation in Rat with Neuropathic pain: A Preliminary Study.

This study investigated the effects of pregabalin on microglial differentiation in rats with neuropathic pain (NP) induced by sciatic nerve ligation and transection. After confirming NP, the rats were randomly allocated to either a pregabalin or control group. The pregabalin group received intraperitoneal injections of 10 mg/kg pregabalin, while the control group received an equivalent volume of normal saline following surgery. On postoperative day 28, neuronal damage, microglial activity, and microglial differentiation were assessed. The pregabalin group exhibited significantly less neuronal damage compared to the control group, along with a significant decrease in activated microglial expression in both the brain and spinal cord. Pregabalin treatment also significantly altered the microglial phenotype expression, with a decrease in the M1 phenotype percentage and an increase in the M2 phenotype percentage in both the brain (M1 phenotype: 43.52 ± 12.16% and 18.00 ± 8.57% in the control and pregabalin groups, respectively; difference: 27.26 [15.18-42.10], p = 0.002; M2 phenotype: 16.88 ± 6.47% and 39.63 ± 5.82% in the control and pregabalin groups, respectively; difference 22.04 [17.17-32.70], p < 0.001) and the spinal cord ipsilateral to nerve injury (M1 phenotype: 44.35 ± 12.12% and 13.78 ± 5.39% in the control and pregabalin groups, respectively; difference 30.46 [21.73-44.45], p < 0.001; M2 phenotype: 7.64 ± 3.91% and 33.66 ± 7.95% in the control and pregabalin groups, respectively; difference 27.41 [21.21-36.30], p < 0.001). Overall, pregabalin treatment significantly decreased the microglial M1 phenotype while increasing the microglial M2 phenotype in NP rats.

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