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Immunodominant myelin basic protein fragments induce mechanical hypersensitivity.

ABSTRACT: An insulating myelin sheath ensures saltatory conduction of mechanosensory A afferents. Myelin damage results in the electrical instability of A fibers and the ability to generate pain in response to light touch/pressure (mechanical allodynia). We have hypothesized and then established that the release of T cell epitopes of myelin basic protein (MBP) enables nociceptive circuitry in myelinated fibers. Thus, mass spectrometry analysis of the rat sciatic nerve proteome followed by bioinformatics examination of the datasets revealed a loss of MBP and activation of T-helper cell signaling in the nerves undergoing chronic constriction injury (CCI). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) proteolysis resulted in the MBP digest peptides, including the MBP84-104 and MBP68-86 regions, which exhibit prominent immunogenic epitopes. Myelin-forming Schwann cells and paranodal areas accumulated MHCII, MMP-9 and the degraded MBP at the sciatic nerve injury site. Administration of the immunodominant MBP84-104 and MBP68-86 peptides but not of the control peptides in a naïve rat sciatic nerve produced robust mechanical allodynia. Allodynia was accompanied by the T cell infiltration and an increase in MHCII, IL-17A and TNF- levels at the nerve injection site and the segmental ganglia. The pro-nociceptive activity of the synthetic MBP84-104 diminished in athymic nude rats lacking T cells. SB-3CT, an antagonist of MMP-9, inhibited mechanical allodynia, neuroinflammation and spinal sensitization after CCI. Collectively, our novel data implicate, for the first time, MMP-mediated cleavage of MBP and the resulting MBP digest fragments as a major cause of neuropathic pain. Gene extression profiling of total RNAs extracted from rat sciatic nerves, dorsal root ganglion and spinal cords after MBP84-104 peptide injection

ORGANISM(S): Rattus norvegicus  

SUBMITTER: Alex Y Strongin   Andrei V Chernov  Andrei Chernov  Veronica Shubayev 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-34868 | ArrayExpress | 2012-03-03



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