Chronic pain is a major public health problem. Mitochondria play important roles in a myriad of cellular processes and mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in multiple neurological disorders. This review aims to provide an insight into advances in understanding of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of chronic pain. The results show that the five major mitochondrial functions (the mitochondrial energy generating system, reactive oxygen species generation, mitochondrial permeability transition pore, apoptotic pathways and intracellular calcium mobilisation) may play critical roles in neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Therefore, protecting mitochondrial function would be a promising strategy to alleviate or prevent chronic pain states. Related chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain models, as well as the spectral characteristics of current fluorescent probes to detect mitochondria in pain studies, are also discussed.
- Chemical Pathology