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Special Issue "Neurobiological Mechanisms of Orofacial Chronic Pain"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Man-Kyo Chung
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, School of Dentistry, Program in Neuroscience, Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA
Interests: ion channels; pain; electrophysiology; nociceptors; transient receptor potential ion channels, trigeminal ganglia
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Yu Shin Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Programs in Integrated Biomedical Sciences & Translational Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
Interests: somatosensation; in vivo calcium imaging; voltage sensing imaging; in vivo second messengers imaging; network activity of primary sensory neuron (dorsal root ganglia & trigeminal ganglia) and surrounding cells; electrophysiologic recording; chronic pain; chronic itch; signaling molecules for nociception

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Orofacial pain arises not only from skin and mucosa but also from deep tissues such as masticatory muscles and joints. A wide variety of etiologies, such as tissue inflammation and nerve injury, leads to chronic pain that is often resistant to conventional therapies. Multiple idiopathic chronic pain conditions in orofacial regions, such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome (BMS), or atypical odontalgia, are very difficult to diagnose and properly treat. In spite of great advances over the last few decades, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying chronic pain conditions of the orofacial area are still not clearly understood.

This Special Issue is devoted to better understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of orofacial pain. The scope includes but is not limited to peripheral and central mechanisms of orofacial pain, neural pathways or signaling mechanisms in sensory ganglia or brain, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and neural and synaptic plasticity in preclinical models. The Special Issue also welcomes translational studies and clinical studies involving human subjects or functional MRI associated with orofacial pain. A more detailed understanding of the unique neurobiology of orofacial pain should help us develop novel methods and therapeutics for better treating orofacial persistent pain.

Prof. Dr. Man-Kyo Chung
Dr. Yu Shin Kim
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • orofacial pain
  • trigeminal system
  • neural circuit of orofacial neuropathy
  • chronic pain
  • preclinical study
  • human study

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Microglia and Inhibitory Circuitry in the Medullary Dorsal Horn: Laminar and Time-Dependent Changes in a Trigeminal Model of Neuropathic Pain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094564 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 194
Craniofacial neuropathic pain affects millions of people worldwide and is often difficult to treat. Two key mechanisms underlying this condition are a loss of the negative control exerted by inhibitory interneurons and an early microglial reaction. Basic features of these mechanisms, however, are [...] Read more.
Craniofacial neuropathic pain affects millions of people worldwide and is often difficult to treat. Two key mechanisms underlying this condition are a loss of the negative control exerted by inhibitory interneurons and an early microglial reaction. Basic features of these mechanisms, however, are still poorly understood. Using the chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-IoN) model of neuropathic pain in mice, we have examined the changes in the expression of GAD, the synthetic enzyme of GABA, and GlyT2, the membrane transporter of glycine, as well as the microgliosis that occur at early (5 days) and late (21 days) stages post-CCI in the medullary and upper spinal dorsal horn. Our results show that CCI-IoN induces a down-regulation of GAD at both postinjury survival times, uniformly across the superficial laminae. The expression of GlyT2 showed a more discrete and heterogeneous reduction due to the basal presence in lamina III of ‘patches’ of higher expression, interspersed within a less immunoreactive ‘matrix’, which showed a more substantial reduction in the expression of GlyT2. These patches coincided with foci lacking any perceptible microglial reaction, which stood out against a more diffuse area of strong microgliosis. These findings may provide clues to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying allodynia in neuropathic pain syndromes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiological Mechanisms of Orofacial Chronic Pain)
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