Date of Award

Spring 2011


© 2011 Holly Beaulac

Document Type




First Advisor

Ling Cao

Second Advisor

Glenn Stevenson

Third Advisor

Geoff Ganter

Fourth Advisor

Lei Lei


CD4+ T cells and CD40, highly expressed in activated microglia, along with microglia themselves have been demonstrated to contribute to mechanical hypersensitivity in a murine model of neuropathic pain, spinal nerve L5 transection (L5Tx). This study investigated whether CD4 and CD40 mediate their effects by affecting spinal cord microglial responses and/or leukocyte infiltration into the spinal cord. L5Tx was performed on wild type (WT), CD4 knockout (KO), and CD40 KO mice. Mononuclear cells from the lumbar spinal cord were collected and the total number of microglia (CD45loCD11b+) and infiltrating leukocytes (CD45hi) were analyzed in a time course study via flow cytometry. In WT mice, L5Tx significantly increased the total number of microglial cells in the ipsilateral side of the lumbar spinal cord at day 3 and day 7 post-surgery. Similar changes in microglial numbers were observed in CD4 KO mice at day 7 post-L5Tx but not in CD40 KO mice. Post-L5Tx, WT mice displayed elevated numbers of infiltrating leukocytes in the ipsilateral side of the lumbar spinal cord. Only minimal increases in infiltrating leukocytes were found in CD4 KO and CD40 KO mice. The current data suggest CD40 may have greater involvement than CD4 in peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain.


Honors thesis