Mechanosensitive proteins are sensitized in myelinated afferents following in vivo inflammation
ABSTRACT: Here we identified two populations of myelinated sensory neurons that display markedly different phenotypes in terms of their action potential characteristics and responses to mechanical stimuli based on their expression of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP). Myelinated neurons that did not express CGRP responded to mechanical stimuli with significantly larger currents during whole-cell voltage clamp recordings than their CGRP-positive counterparts, regardless of whether these neurons projected to the dorsal hindpaw skin or the gastrocnemius muscle. Importantly, this discrepancy could not be explained by a differential expression of mechanosensitive or mechanically-gated proteins like Stoml3 or Piezo2. Following inflammation of the skin or muscle, myelinated neurons demonstrated a sensitization to mechanical stimuli characterized by increased current amplitudes. Interestingly, myelinated neurons expressing CGRP are sensitized to mechanical stimuli following cutaneous inflammation of the paw, while myelinated neurons that do not express CGRP are sensitized to mechanical stimuli following inflammation of the gastrocnemius muscle. Microarray data was obtained from these populations by first using Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) to separate the populations of interest. 15 different samples were analyzed, 3 biological replicates for each group (5 groups: saline paw-injected, CFA paw-injected, saline muscle-injected, acid muscle-injected, and CFA muscle-injected). The saline injected groups (paw and muscle) are considered controls.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Functional alterations in the properties of A? afferent fibers may account for the increased pain sensitivity observed under peripheral chronic inflammation. Among the voltage-gated sodium channels involved in the pathophysiology of pain, Na(v)1.8 has been shown to participate in the peripheral sensitization of nociceptors. However, to date, there is no evidence for a role of Na(v)1.8 in controlling A?-fiber excitability following persistent inflammation. METHODS: Distribution and expression of Na(v)1.8 in dorsal root ganglia and sciatic nerves were qualitatively or quantitatively assessed by immunohistochemical staining and by real time-polymerase chain reaction at different time points following complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) administration. Using a whole-cell patch-clamp configuration, we further determined both total INa and TTX-R Na(v)1.8 currents in large-soma dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons isolated from sham or CFA-treated rats. Finally, we analyzed the effects of ambroxol, a Na(v)1.8-preferring blocker on the electrophysiological properties of Nav1.8 currents and on the mechanical sensitivity and inflammation of the hind paw in CFA-treated rats. RESULTS: Our findings revealed that Na(v)1.8 is up-regulated in NF200-positive large sensory neurons and is subsequently anterogradely transported from the DRG cell bodies along the axons toward the periphery after CFA-induced inflammation. We also demonstrated that both total INa and Na(v)1.8 peak current densities are enhanced in inflamed large myelinated A?-fiber neurons. Persistent inflammation leading to nociception also induced time-dependent changes in A?-fiber neuron excitability by shifting the voltage-dependent activation of Na(v)1.8 in the hyperpolarizing direction, thus decreasing the current threshold for triggering action potentials. Finally, we found that ambroxol significantly reduces the potentiation of Na(v)1.8 currents in A?-fiber neurons observed following intraplantar CFA injection and concomitantly blocks CFA-induced mechanical allodynia, suggesting that Na(v)1.8 regulation in A?-fibers contributes to inflammatory pain. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these findings support a key role for Na(v)1.8 in controlling the excitability of A?-fibers and its potential contribution to the development of mechanical allodynia under persistent inflammation.
Project description:Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are important mediators of pain hypersensitivity during inflammatory states, but their role in sensory nerve growth remains underexplored. Here, we assess the role of the N-type calcium channel Cav2.2 in the complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) model of inflammatory pain. We demonstrate with hybridization and immunoblotting, an increase in Cav2.2 expression after hind paw CFA injection in sensory neurons that respond to thermal stimuli, but not in two different mechanosensitive neuronal populations. Further, Cav2.2 upregulation post-CFA correlates with thermal but not mechanical hyperalgesia in behaving mice, and this hypersensitivity is blocked with a specific Cav2.2 inhibitor. Voltage clamp recordings reveal a significant increase in Cav2.2 currents post-CFA, while current clamp analyses demonstrate a significant increase in action potential frequency. Moreover, CFA-induced sensory nerve growth, which involves the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK1/2) signaling pathway and likely contributes to inflammation-induced hyperalgesia, was blocked with the Cav2.2 inhibitor. Together, this work uncovers a role for Cav2.2 during inflammation, demonstrating that VGCC activity can promote thermal hyperalgesia through both changes in firing rates of sensory neurons as well as promotion of new neurite outgrowth.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To develop a method for analyzing sensory neuron responses to mechanical stimuli in vivo, and to evaluate whether these neuronal responses change after destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). METHODS:DMM or sham surgery was performed in 10-week-old male C57BL/6 wild-type or Pirt-GCaMP3+/- mice. All experiments were performed 8 weeks after surgery. Knee and hind paw hyperalgesia were assessed in wild-type mice. The retrograde label DiI was injected into the ipsilateral knee to quantify the number of knee-innervating neurons in the L4 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in wild-type mice. In vivo calcium imaging was performed on the ipsilateral L4 DRG of Pirt-GCaMP3+/- mice as mechanical stimuli (paw pinch, knee pinch, or knee twist) were applied to the ipsilateral hind limb. RESULTS:Eight weeks after surgery, mice subjected to DMM had more hyperalgesia in the knee and hind paw compared to mice subjected to sham surgery. Intraarticular injection of DiI labeled similar numbers of neurons in the L4 DRG of mice subjected to sham surgery and mice subjected to DMM. Increased numbers of sensory neurons responded to all 3 mechanical stimuli in mice subjected to DMM, as assessed by in vivo calcium imaging. The majority of responses in mice subjected to sham surgery and mice subjected to DMM were in small to medium-sized neurons, consistent with the size of nociceptors. The magnitude of responses was similar between mice subjected to sham surgery and mice subjected to DMM. CONCLUSION:Our findings indicate that increased numbers of small to medium-sized DRG neurons respond to mechanical stimuli 8 weeks after DMM surgery, suggesting that nociceptors have become sensitized by lowering the response threshold.
Project description:: To study new target-oriented molecules that are active against rheumatoid arthritis-dependent pain, new dual inhibitors incorporating both a carbonic anhydrase (CA)-binding moiety and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor (NSAID) were tested in a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis induced by CFA intra-articular (i.a.) injection. A comparison between a repeated per os treatment and a single i.a. injection was performed. CFA (50 µL) was injected in the tibiotarsal joint, and the effect of per os repeated treatment (1 mg kg-1) or single i.a injection (1 mg ml-1, 50 µL) with NSAIDs-CAIs hybrid molecules, named 4 and 5, was evaluated. The molecules 4 and 5, which were administered daily for 14 days, significantly prevented CFA-induced hypersensitivity to mechanical noxious (Paw pressure test) and non-noxious stimuli (von Frey test), the postural unbalance related to spontaneous pain (Incapacitance test) and motor alterations (Beam balance test). Moreover, to study a possible localized activity, 4 and 5 were formulated in liposomes (lipo 4 and lipo 5, both 1 mg ml-1) and directly administered by a single i.a. injection seven days after CFA injection. Lipo 5 decreased the mechanical hypersensitivity to noxious and non-noxious stimuli and improved motor coordination. Oral and i.a. treatments did not rescue the joint, as shown by the histological analysis. This new class of potent molecules, which is able to inhibit at the same time CA and cyclooxygenase, shows high activity in a preclinical condition of rheumatoid arthritis, strongly suggesting a novel attractive pharmacodynamic profile.
Project description:The cellular proteins that underlie mechanosensation remain largely enigmatic in mammalian systems. Mechanically sensitive ion channels are thought to distinguish pressure, stretch, and other types of tactile signals in skin. Transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) is a candidate mechanically sensitive channel that is expressed in primary afferent sensory neurons. However, its role in the mechanical sensitivity of these neurons is unclear. Here, we investigated TRPC1-dependent responses to both innocuous and noxious mechanical force. Mechanically evoked action potentials in cutaneous myelinated A-fiber and unmyelinated C-fiber neurons were quantified using the ex vivo skin-nerve preparation to record from the saphenous nerve, which terminates in the dorsal hairy skin of the hindpaw. Our data reveal that in TRPC1-deficient mice, mechanically evoked action potentials were decreased by nearly 50% in slowly adapting A?-fibers, which largely innervate Merkel cells, and in rapidly adapting A?-Down-hair afferent fibers compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, differences were not found in slowly adapting A?-mechanoreceptors or unmyelinated C-fibers, which primarily respond to nociceptive stimuli. These results suggest that TRPC1 may be important in the detection of innocuous mechanical force. We concurrently investigated the role of TRPC1 in behavioral responses to mechanical force to the plantar hindpaw skin. For innocuous stimuli, we developed a novel light stroke assay using a "puffed out" cotton swab. Additionally, we used repeated light, presumably innocuous punctate stimuli with a low threshold von Frey filament (0.68 mN). In agreement with our electrophysiological data in light-touch afferents, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited nearly a 50% decrease in behavioral responses to both the light-stroke and light punctate mechanical assays when compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited normal paw withdrawal response to more intense mechanical stimuli that are typically considered measures of nociceptive behavior.
Project description:1 The small protein Bv8, isolated from amphibian skin, belongs to a novel family of secretory proteins (Bv8-Prokineticin family, SWISS-PROT: Q9PW66) whose orthologues have been conserved throughout evolution, from invertebrates to humans. 2 When injected intravenously or subcutaneously (from 0.06 to 500 pmol kg(-1)) or intrathecally (from 6 fmol to 250 pmol) in rats, Bv8 produced an intense systemic nociceptive sensitization to mechanical and thermal stimuli applied to the tail and paws. 3 Topically delivered into one rat paw, 50 fmol of Bv8 decreased by 50% the nociceptive threshold to pressure in the injected paw without affecting the threshold in the contralateral paw. 4 The two G-protein coupled prokineticin receptors, PK-R1 and PK-R2, were expressed in rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and in dorsal quadrants of spinal cord (DSC) and bound Bv8 and the mammalian orthologue, EG-VEGF, with high affinity. In DSC, PK-R1 was more abundant than PK-R2, whereas both receptors were equally expressed in DRG. IC(50) of Bv8 and EG-VEGF to inhibit [(125)I]-Bv8 binding to rat DRG and DSC were 4.1+/-0.4 nM Bv8 and 76.4+/-7.6 nM EG-VEGF, in DRG; 7.3+/-0.9 nM Bv8 and 330+/-41 nM EG-VEGF, in DSC. 5 In the small diameter neurons (<30 microm) of rat DRG cultures, Bv8 concentrations, ranging from 0.2 to 10 nM, raised [Ca(2+)](i) in a dose-dependent manner. 6 These data suggest that Bv8, through binding to PK receptors of DSC and primary sensitive neurons, results in intense sensitization of peripheral nociceptors to thermal and mechanical stimuli.
Project description:Rationale: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key mediator in the development of chronic pain. Sortilin is known to interact with proBDNF and regulate its activity-dependent secretion in cortical neurons. In a rat model of inflammatory pain with intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), we examined the functional role of proBDNF-sortilin interaction in dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Methods: Expression and co-localization of BDNF and sortilin were determined by immunofluorescence. ProBDNF-sortilin interaction interface was mapped using co-immunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay. The analgesic effect of intrathecal injection of a synthetic peptide interfering with proBDNF-sortilin interaction was measured in the CFA model. Results: BDNF and sortilin were co-localized and their expression was significantly increased in ipsilateral L4/5 DRG upon hind paw CFA injection. In vivo adeno-associated virus-mediated knockdown of sortilin-1 in L5 DRG alleviated pain-like responses. Mapping by serial deletions in the BDNF prodomain indicated that amino acid residues 71-100 supported the proBDNF-sortilin interaction. A synthetic peptide identical to amino acid residues 89-98 of proBDNF, as compared with scrambled peptide, was found to interfere with proBDNF-sortilin interaction, inhibit activity-dependent release of BDNF in vitro and reduce CFA-induced mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in vivo. The synthetic peptide also interfered with capsaicin-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases in ipsilateral spinal cord of CFA-injected rats. Conclusions: Sortilin-mediated secretion of BDNF from DRG neurons contributes to CFA-induced inflammatory pain. Interfering with proBDNF-sortilin interaction reduced activity-dependent release of BDNF and might serve as a therapeutic approach for chronic inflammatory pain.
Project description:The goal of this study was to analyze global gene expression in specific populations of somatosensory neurons in the periphery, including major, non-overlapping populations that include nociceptors, pruriceptors, and prorioceptors. The mammalian somatosensory nervous system encodes the perception of specific environmental stimuli. The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) contains distinct somatosensory neuron subtypes that innervate diverse peripheral tissues, mediating the detection of thermal, mechanical, proprioceptive, pruriceptive, and nociceptive stimuli. We purified discrete subtypes of mouse DRG somatosensory neurons by flow cytometry using fluorescently labeled mouse lines (SNS-Cre/TdTomato, Parv-Cre/TdTomato) in combination with Isolectin B4-FITC surface staining (IB4). This allowed identification of transcriptional differences between these major populations, revealing enrichment of voltage-gated ion channels, TRP channels, G-protein coupled receptors, transcription factors, and other functionally important classes of genes within specific somatosensory neuron subsets. SNS-Cre mice were bred with Rosa26-TdTomato mice to generate SNS-Cre/TdTomato reporter mice. Parv-Cre mice were bred with Rosa26-TdTomato mice to generate Parv-Cre/TdTomato mice. Isolectin B4-FITC was used to stain the surface of SNS-Cre/TdTomato reporter mice. We used these strategies of fluorescent labeling to purify distinct murine sensory neuron subsets from the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Neurons were sorted directly in Qiazol for total RNA extraction and microarray analysis. Whole DRG tissue was also included for transcriptome analysis to compare with purified neuronal populations.
Project description:Obesity is a risk factor for several inflammation-based diseases including arthritis. We investigated the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant in lean and diet-induced obese female rats with arthritis induced by complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) injected in the right hind-paw.The effect of oral rimonabant was assessed in rat paws on thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical allodynia, oedema, global arthritis score, nitrite/nitrate levels and ankle widths.After 7 but not after 14 days, the inflammatory response to CFA was significantly higher in obese than lean rats; however, the nociceptive response (thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia) was similar. Oral rimonabant (3 or 10 mg kg-1, once a day for 1 week from day 7 after CFA) only reduced the global arthritic score and joint width in obese rats, with no effect on the paw oedema. It also markedly reduced thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in both lean and obese rats, with a greater effect in the latter.Rimonabant appears to be a potent inhibitor of sensorial hypersensitivity associated with CFA-induced arthritis in obese rats, in which the inflammatory reaction is more severe than in lean rats. It may thus have therapeutic potential in obesity-associated inflammatory diseases, particularly in the treatment of the pain associated with arthritis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Preemptive administration of analgesic drugs reduces perceived pain and prolongs duration of antinociceptive action. Whereas several lines of evidence suggest that endomorphins, the endogenous mu-opioid agonists, attenuate acute and chronic pain at the spinal level, their preemptive analgesic effects remain to be determined. In this study, we evaluated the anti-allodynic activities of endomorphins and explored their mechanisms of action after preemptive administration in a mouse model of inflammatory pain. METHODS:The anti-allodynic activities of preemptive intrathecal administration of endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 were investigated in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammatory pain model and paw incision-induced postoperative pain model. The modulating effects of endomorphins on the expression of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and inflammatory mediators in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of CFA-treated mice were assayed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting, or immunofluorescence staining. RESULTS:Preemptive intrathecal injection of endomorphins dose-dependently attenuated CFA-induced mechanical allodynia via the mu-opioid receptor and significantly reversed paw incision-induced allodynia. In addition, CFA-caused increase of phosphorylated p38 MAPK in DRG was dramatically reduced by preemptive administration of endomorphins. Repeated intrathecal application of the specific p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 reduced CFA-induced mechanical allodynia as well. Further RT-PCR assay showed that endomorphins regulated the mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines in DRGs induced by peripheral inflammation. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings reveal a novel mechanism by which preemptive treatment of endomorphins attenuates inflammatory pain through regulating the production of inflammatory cytokines in DRG neurons via inhibition of p38 MAPK phosphorylation.