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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

A number of clinical studies indicated an association between autoantibodies and neuropathic pain. This is supported by the observation that immunotherapies that reduce antibody levels alleviate pain in patients and suggests that autoantibodies are not a byproduct of pathology but instead important drivers of neuropathic pain. These autoantibodies can target both neuronal and nonneuronal antigens within the sensory nervous system. Possible pathogenic mechanisms include nerve damage and inflammation as well as disruption of ion channel function. Whether autoantibodies are truly causal to neuropathic pain and exactly what their prevalence is in such pain conditions are important questions that are being addressed with the use of passive transfer in preclinical models and the screening of patient sera. Such studies support the idea that autoantibodies are a mechanism to cause neuropathic pain and provide insight into the molecular components regulating pain sensitivity in a pathological setting. Therefore, this work not only will be applicable to the treatment of patients with autoantibody-mediated pain, but also will facilitate the development of therapies to treat neuropathic pain in the more general context.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, autoantibodies, autoimmune pain, inflammatory neuropathy, neuromyelitis optica, complex regional pain, Voltage-gated potassium channel complex autoantibody, VGKCC, Fibromyalgia

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