Critical Analysis of P2Y12 Receptor as a Potential Targeting Approach for Neuropathic Pain Management

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This is a critical analysis of the role of P2Y12 receptor and neuropathic pain. Chronic pain is the pain that lasts for an abnormally long duration of time, it effects a large number of people leading to decreased quality of life. Chronic pain has three categories one of which is neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain has two characteristics which are hyperalgesia and allodynia. Microglial cells activation and proliferation are known to be involved in neuropathic pain. They are also known to express P2Y12 which is a subtype of the purinergic receptor family. The mRNA expression levels of the P2Y12 as well as the number of microglial cells expressing the P2Y12 receptor increases as a response to nerve injury inducing neuropathic pain. A number of studies showed a correlation between the expression level of the P2Y12 receptor and the extent of machinal allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Until recently the data were exclusively obtained from the animal models but recently emerging human evidences linking variances in P2Y12 receptor gene to cancer pain severity and undergoing treatment with P2Y12 inhibitor to a decrease in opioid requirements. All together these data suggest a fundamental role of the P2Y12 receptor in the management and early intervention of neuropathic pain. More work is required to fully comprehend the transduction pathway of the P2Y12 receptor in order for the development of an inhibitor that can be used in the clinical setting.