The emerging role of kainate receptor functional dysregulation in pain

Huili Li, Junfa Li, Yun Guan, Yun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pain is a serious clinical challenge, and is associated with a significant reduction in quality of life and high financial costs for affected patients. Research efforts have been made to explore the etiological basis of pain to guide the future treatment of patients suffering from pain conditions. Findings from studies using KA (kainate) receptor agonist, antagonists and receptor knockout mice suggested that KA receptor dysregulation and dysfunction may govern both peripheral and central sensitization in the context of pain. Additional evidence showed that KA receptor dysfunction may disrupt the finely-tuned process of glutamic acid transmission, thereby contributing to the onset of a range of pathological contexts. In the present review, we summarized major findings in recent studies which examined the roles of KA receptor dysregulation in nociceptive transmission and in pain. This timely overview of current knowledge will help to provide a framework for future developing novel therapeutic strategies to manage pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Pain
StatePublished - 2021


  • Pain
  • kainate receptors
  • modulation
  • neuron
  • plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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