Damage-associated molecular patterns generated in osteoarthritis directly excite murine nociceptive neurons through Toll-like receptor 4.
ABSTRACT: To determine whether selected damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) present in the osteoarthritic (OA) joints of mice excite nociceptors through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4).The ability of S100A8 and ?2 -macroglobulin to excite nociceptors was determined by measuring the release of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) by cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells as well as by measuring the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+) ]i ) in cultured DRG neurons from naive mice or from mice that had undergone surgical destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) 8 weeks previously. The role of TLR-4 was assessed using TLR-4(-/-) cells or a TLR-4 inhibitor. The [Ca(2+) ]i in neurons within ex vivo intact DRGs was measured in samples from Pirt-GCaMP3 mice. Neuronal expression of the Tlr4 gene was determined by in situ hybridization. DMM surgery was performed in wild-type and TLR-4(-/-) mice; mechanical allodynia was monitored, and joint damage was assessed histologically after 16 weeks.DRG neurons from both naive and DMM mice expressed Tlr4. Both S100A8 and ?2 -macroglobulin stimulated release of the proalgesic chemokine MCP-1 in DRG cultures, and the neurons rapidly responded to S100A8 and ?2 -macroglobulin with increased [Ca(2+) ]i . Blocking TLR-4 inhibited these effects. Neurons within intact DRGs responded to the TLR-4 agonist lipopolysaccharide. In both of the calcium-imaging assays, it was primarily the nociceptor population of neurons that responded to TLR-4 ligands. TLR-4(-/-) mice were not protected from mechanical allodynia or from joint damage associated with DMM.Our experiments suggest a role of TLR-4 signaling in the excitation of nociceptors by selected DAMPs. Further research is needed to delineate the importance of this pathway in relation to OA pain.
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:Plasticity in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons that promotes pain requires activity-dependent mRNA translation. Protein synthesis inhibitors block the ability of many pain-promoting molecules to enhance excitability in DRG neurons and attenuate behavioral signs of pain plasticity. In line with this, we have recently shown that phosphorylation of the 5' cap-binding protein, eIF4E, plays a pivotal role in plasticity of DRG nociceptors in models of hyperalgesic priming. However, mRNA targets of eIF4E phosphorylation have not been elucidated in the DRG. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling from nociceptors in the DRG to spinal dorsal horn neurons is an important mediator of hyperalgesic priming. Regulatory mechanisms that promote pain plasticity via controlling BDNF expression that is involved in promoting pain plasticity have not been identified. We show that phosphorylation of eIF4E is paramount for Bdnf mRNA translation in the DRG. Bdnf mRNA translation is reduced in mice lacking eIF4E phosphorylation (eIF4ES209A ) and pro-nociceptive factors fail to increase BDNF protein levels in the DRGs of these mice despite robust upregulation of Bdnf-201 mRNA levels. Importantly, bypassing the DRG by giving intrathecal injection of BDNF in eIF4ES209A mice creates a strong hyperalgesic priming response that is normally absent or reduced in these mice. We conclude that eIF4E phosphorylation-mediated translational control of BDNF expression is a key mechanism for nociceptor plasticity leading to hyperalgesic priming.
Project description:A recent study with Ca++-sensitive-dyes in neurons in whole DRGs (Table 5) found that much lower percentages of nociceptors were polymodal-nociceptors (PMNs) (Emery et al., 2016), than the 50-80% values in many electrophysiological fiber studies. This conflict highlighted the lack of knowledge about percentages of nociceptor-subtypes in the DRG. This was analysed from intracellularly-recorded neurons in rat lumbar DRGs stimulated from outside the skin. Polymodal nociceptors (PMNs) were 11% of all neurons and 19% of all nociceptors. Most PMNs had C-fibers (CPMNs). Percentages of C-nociceptors that were CPMNs varied with receptive field (RF) depths, whether superficial (?80%), dermal (25%), deep (0%) or cutaneous (superficial + dermal) (40%). This explains CPMN percentages 40-90%, being highest, in electrophysiological studies using cutaneous nerves, and lowest in studies that also include deep RFs, including ours, and the recent Ca++-imaging studies in whole DRGs. Despite having been originally described in 1967 (Burgess and Perl), both A?-nociceptors and A?-moderate pressure receptors (MPRs) remain overlooked. Most A-fiber nociceptors in rodents have A?-fibers. Of rat lumbar A?-nociceptors with superficial RFs, 50% were MPRs with variable medium-low trkA-expression. Despite having conduction velocities at the two extremes for nociceptors, both CPMNs and MPRs have relatively low thresholds, superficial/epidermal RFs and low trkA-expression. For abbreviations used see Table 5.
Project description:I(h), which influences neuronal excitability, has recently been measured in vivo in sensory neuron subtypes in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). However, expression levels of HCN (hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated) channel proteins that underlie I(h) were unknown. We therefore examined immunostaining of the most abundant isoforms in DRGs, HCN1 and HCN2 in these neuron subtypes. This immunostaining was cytoplasmic and membrane-associated (ring). Ring-staining for both isoforms was in neurofilament-rich A-fiber neurons, but not in small neurofilament-poor C-fiber neurons, although some C-neurons showed cytoplasmic HCN2 staining. We recorded intracellularly from DRG neurons in vivo, determined their sensory properties (nociceptive or low-threshold-mechanoreceptive, LTM) and conduction velocities (CVs). We then injected fluorescent dye enabling subsequent immunostaining. For each dye-injected neuron, ring- and cytoplasmic-immunointensities were determined relative to maximum ring-immunointensity. Both HCN1- and HCN2-ring-immunointensities were positively correlated with CV in both nociceptors and LTMs; they were high in A?-nociceptors and A?/?-LTMs. High HCN1 and HCN2 levels in A?/?-neurons may, via I(h), influence normal non-painful (e.g. touch and proprioceptive) sensations as well as nociception and pain. HCN2-, not HCN1-, ring-intensities were higher in muscle spindle afferents (MSAs) than in all other neurons. The previously reported very high I(h) in MSAs may relate to their very high HCN2. In normal C-nociceptors, low HCN1 and HCN2 were consistent with their low/undetectable I(h.) In some C-LTMs HCN2-intensities were higher than in C-nociceptors. Together, HCN1 and HCN2 expressions reflect previously reported I(h) magnitudes and properties in neuronal subgroups, suggesting these isoforms underlie I(h) in DRG neurons. Expression of both isoforms was NT3-dependent in cultured DRG neurons. HCN2-immunostaining in small neurons increased 1 day after cutaneous inflammation (CFA-induced) and recovered by 4 days. This could contribute to acute inflammatory pain. HCN2-immunostaining in large neurons decreased 4 days after CFA, when NT3 was decreased in the DRG. Thus HCN2-expression control differs between large and small neurons.
Project description:The K+ channel pore-forming subunit Kv4.3 is expressed in a subset of nonpeptidergic nociceptors within the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), and knockdown of Kv4.3 selectively induces mechanical hypersensitivity, a major symptom of neuropathic pain. K+ channel modulatory subunits KChIP1, KChIP2, and DPP10 are coexpressed in Kv4.3+ DRG neurons, but whether they participate in Kv4.3-mediated pain control is unknown. Here, we show the existence of a Kv4.3/KChIP1/KChIP2/DPP10 complex (abbreviated as the Kv4 complex) in the endoplasmic reticulum and cell surface of DRG neurons. After intrathecal injection of a gene-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide to knock down the expression of each component in the Kv4 complex, mechanical hypersensitivity develops in the hindlimbs of rats in parallel with a reduction in all components in the lumbar DRGs. Electrophysiological data further indicate that the excitability of nonpeptidergic nociceptors is enhanced. The expression of all Kv4 complex components in DRG neurons is downregulated following spinal nerve ligation (SNL). To rescue Kv4 complex downregulation, cDNA constructs encoding Kv4.3, KChIP1, and DPP10 were transfected into the injured DRGs (defined as DRGs with injured spinal nerves) of living SNL rats. SNL-evoked mechanical hypersensitivity was attenuated, accompanied by a partial recovery of Kv4.3, KChIP1, and DPP10 surface levels in the injured DRGs. By showing an interdependent regulation among components in the Kv4 complex, this study demonstrates that K+ channel modulatory subunits KChIP1, KChIP2, and DPP10 participate in Kv4.3-mediated mechanical pain control. Thus, these modulatory subunits could be potential drug targets for neuropathic pain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuropathic pain, a type of moderate to severe chronic pain resulting from nerve injury or disorder, affects 6.9%-10% of the global population. However, less than half of patients report satisfactory pain relief from current treatments. K+ channels, which act to reduce nociceptor activity, have been suggested to be novel drug targets for neuropathic pain. This study is the first to show that K+ channel modulatory subunits KChIP1, KChIP2, and DPP10 are potential drug targets for neuropathic pain because they form a channel complex with the K+ channel pore-forming subunit Kv4.3 in a subset of nociceptors to selectively inhibit mechanical hypersensitivity, a major symptom of neuropathic pain.
Project description:In an experimental model of cancer pain, the hyperalgesia that occurs with osteolytic tumor growth is associated with the sensitization of nociceptors. We examined functional and molecular changes in small-diameter dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to determine cellular mechanisms underlying this sensitization. The occurrence of a Ca2+ transient in response to either KCl (25 mM) or capsaicin (500 nM) increased in small neurons isolated from murine L3-L6 DRGs ipsilateral to fibrosarcoma cell tumors. The increased responses were associated with increased mRNA levels for the Ca2+ channel subunit alpha2delta1 and TRPV1 receptor. Pretreatment with gabapentin, an inhibitor of the alpha2delta1 subunit, blocked the increased response to KCl in vitro and the mechanical hyperalgesia in tumor-bearing mice in vivo. Similar increases in neuronal responsiveness occurred when DRG neurons from naive mice and fibrosarcoma cells were cocultured for 48 h. The CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) may contribute to the tumor cell-induced sensitization because CCL2 immunoreactivity was present in tumors, high levels of CCL2 peptide were present in microperfusates from tumors, and treatment of DRG neurons in vitro with CCL2 increased the amount of mRNA for the alpha2delta1 subunit. Together, our data provide strong evidence that the chemical mediator CCL2 is released from tumor cells and evokes phenotypic changes in sensory neurons, including increases in voltage-gated Ca2+ channels that likely underlie the mechanical hyperalgesia in the fibrosarcoma cancer model. More broadly, this study provides a novel in vitro model to resolve the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which tumor cells drive functional changes in nociceptors.
Project description:During embryogenesis, nociceptive sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia depend intimately on Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for neuronal survival, maturation and target innervation. NGF is a secreted molecular signal synthesized by neuronal target tissues. In developing nociceptors, NGF engages the receptor tyrosine kinase TrkA to activate a gene transcriptional program involving the regulation of hundreds of transcripts. To identify NGF-dependent genes in developing mouse nociceptors, we have designed and performed two separate microarray screens to compare gene expression profiles of DRG neurons either with or lacking NGF signaling. For the first screen comparing DRGs of Bax−/− and Ngf−/−; Bax−/− mice, DRGs were dissected and pooled from E14.5 Ngf−/−; Bax−/− and Bax−/− embryos. Total RNA was extracted and directly subjected to microarray analysis. For the second screen comparing mouse DRG explants grown in the presence or absence of NGF, E13.5 mouse DRG explants were cultured for two days with 50 ng/ml of either NGF or NT3. Total RNA was extracted and then subjected to microarray analysis.
Project description:We report here in adult rat viral vector mediate-gene knockdown in the primary sensory neurons and the associated cellular and behavior consequences. Self-complementary adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) was constructed to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) and a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The AAV vectors were injected via an intrathecal catheter. We observed profound GFP expression in lumbar DRG neurons beginning at 2-week post-injection. Of those neurons, over 85% were large to medium-diameter and co-labeled with NF200, a marker for myelinated fibers. Western blotting of mTOR revealed an 80% reduction in the lumbar DRGs (L4-L6) of rats treated with the active siRNA vectors compared to the control siRNA vector. Gene knockdown became apparent as early as 7-day post-injection and lasted for at least 5 weeks. Importantly, mTOR knockdown occurred in large (NF200) and small-diameter neurons (nociceptors). The viral administration induced an increase of Iba1 immunoreactivity in the DRGs, which was likely attributed to the expression of GFP but not siRNA. Rats with mTOR knockdown in DRG neurons showed normal general behavior and unaltered responses to noxious stimuli. In conclusion, intrathecal AAV5 is a highly efficient vehicle to deliver siRNA and generate gene knockdown in DRG neurons. This will be valuable for both basic research and clinic intervention of diseases involving primary sensory neurons.
Project description:Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] released from mast cells or platelets in peripheral tissues is one of the important inflammatory mediators in pain and hyperalgesia. The involvement of 5-HT in pain is complex because it could inhibit or facilitate nociceptive transmission, reflecting the presence of multiple 5-HT subtype receptors on peripheral and central nociceptors. The present study aimed to investigate the involvement of 5-HT(2B) in 5-HT-induced pain and whether the subtype exists in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Injecting the 5-HT or 5-HT(2) agonist in hindpaws of mice induced significant hyperalgesia to mechanical stimuli, which was inhibited by the 5-HT(2B/2C) antagonist but not by 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(2A), or 5-HT(3A) antagonists. Therefore, 5-HT(2B) or 5-HT(2C) may be involved in 5-HT-induced mechanical hyperalgesia. The 5-HT(2B/2C) antagonist also blocked 5-HT-induced transient [Ca(2+)] signaling in DRG neurons. All subtypes of 5-HT receptors except 5-HT(2C) and 5-HT(6) are present in DRGs. In situ hybridization also demonstrated 5-HT(2B) mainly expressed in small- to medium-diameter DRG neurons that respond to pain. Likely, 5-HT(2B) mediates 5-HT-induced mechanical hyperalgesia in mice.
Project description:During embryogenesis, nociceptive sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia depend intimately on Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for neuronal survival, maturation and target innervation. NGF is a secreted molecular signal synthesized by neuronal target tissues. In developing nociceptors, NGF engages the receptor tyrosine kinase TrkA to activate a gene transcriptional program involving the regulation of hundreds of transcripts. To identify NGF-dependent genes in developing mouse nociceptors, we have designed and performed two separate microarray screens to compare gene expression profiles of DRG neurons either with or lacking NGF signaling. Overall design: For the first screen comparing DRGs of Bax−/− and Ngf−/−; Bax−/− mice, DRGs were dissected and pooled from E14.5 Ngf−/−; Bax−/− and Bax−/− embryos. Total RNA was extracted and directly subjected to microarray analysis. For the second screen comparing mouse DRG explants grown in the presence or absence of NGF, E13.5 mouse DRG explants were cultured for two days with 50 ng/ml of either NGF or NT3. Total RNA was extracted and then subjected to microarray analysis.