Sigma-1 Receptor Agonism Promotes Mechanical Allodynia After Priming the Nociceptive System with Capsaicin.
ABSTRACT: Sigma-1 receptor antagonists promote antinociception in several models of pain, but the effects of sigma-1 agonists on nociception (particularly when the nociceptive system is primed) are not so well characterized; therefore we evaluated the effects of sigma-1 agonists on pain under different experimental conditions. The systemic administration of the selective sigma-1 agonists (+)-pentazocine and PRE-084, as well as the nonselective sigma-1 agonist carbetapentane (used clinically as an antitussive drug), did not alter sensitivity to mechanical stimulation under baseline conditions. However, they greatly promoted secondary mechanical allodynia after priming the nociceptive system with capsaicin. These effects of sigma-1 agonists were consistent in terms potency with the affinities of these drugs for sigma-1 receptors, were reversed by sigma-1 antagonists, and were not observed in sigma-1 knockout mice, indicating that they are sigma-1-mediated. Repeated systemic treatment with PRE-084 induced proallodynic effects even 24?h after treatment completion, but only after the nociceptive system was primed. However, neither the presence of this drug in the organism nor changes in sigma-1 receptor expression in areas involved in pain processing explains its long-term effects, suggesting that sustained sigma-1 agonism induces plastic changes in the nociceptive system that promote nociception.
Project description:Sigma(1) receptors (?(1)Rs) are intracellularly mobile chaperone proteins implicated in several disease processes, as well as psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. Here we report that although selective ?(1)R agonists (PRE-084, (+)-pentazocine) lacked reinforcing effects in drug-naive rats, over the course of 28 experimental sessions, which was more than sufficient for acquisition of cocaine self-administration, responding was not maintained by either ?(1)R agonist. In contrast, after subjects self-administered cocaine ?(1)R agonists were readily self-administered. The induced reinforcing effects were long lasting; a response for which subjects had no history of reinforcement was newly conditioned with both ?(1)R agonists, extinguished when injections were discontinued, and reconditioned when ?(1)R agonists again followed responses. Experience with food reinforcement was ineffective as an inducer of ?(1)R agonist reinforcement. Although a variety of dopamine receptor antagonists blocked cocaine self-administration, consistent with its dopaminergic mechanism, PRE-084 self-administration was entirely insensitive to these drugs. Conversely, the ?R antagonist, BD1063, blocked PRE-084 self-administration but was inactive against cocaine. In microdialysis studies i.v. PRE-084 did not significantly stimulate dopamine at doses that were self-administered in rats either with or without a cocaine self-administration experience. The results indicate that cocaine experience induces reinforcing effects of previously inactive ?(1)R agonists, and that the mechanism underlying these reinforcing effects is dopamine independent. It is further suggested that induced ?(1)R mechanisms may have an essential role in treatment-resistant stimulant abuse, suggesting new approaches for the development of effective medications for stimulant abuse.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The sigma-1 (?(1) ) receptor is a ligand-regulated molecular chaperone that has been involved in pain, but there is limited understanding of the actions associated with its pharmacological modulation. Indeed, the selectivity and pharmacological properties of ?(1) receptor ligands used as pharmacological tools are unclear and the demonstration that ?(1) receptor antagonists have efficacy in reversing central sensitization-related pain sensitivity is still missing. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The pharmacological properties of a novel ?(1) receptor antagonist (S1RA) were first characterized. S1RA was then used to investigate the effect of pharmacological antagonism of ?(1) receptors on in vivo nociception in sensitizing conditions and on in vitro spinal cord sensitization in mice. Drug levels and autoradiographic, ex vivo binding for ?(1) receptor occupancy were measured to substantiate behavioural data. KEY RESULTS: Formalin-induced nociception (both phases), capsaicin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity and sciatic nerve injury-induced mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity were dose-dependently inhibited by systemic administration of S1RA. Occupancy of ?(1) receptors in the CNS was significantly correlated with the antinociceptive effects. No pharmacodynamic tolerance to the antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effect developed following repeated administration of S1RA to nerve-injured mice. As a mechanistic correlate, electrophysiological recordings demonstrated that pharmacological antagonism of ?(1) receptors attenuated the wind-up responses in spinal cords sensitized by repetitive nociceptive stimulation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These findings contribute to evidence identifying the ?(1) receptor as a modulator of activity-induced spinal sensitization and pain hypersensitivity, and suggest ?(1) receptor antagonists as potential novel treatments for neuropathic pain.
Project description:Although still used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the mechanism of the analgesic action of the pyrazolone derivatives (PDs), dipyrone, propyphenazone and antipyrine remains unknown. The transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel, expressed by nociceptors, is emerging as a major pain transduction pathway. We hypothesized that PDs target the TRPA1 channel and by this mechanism produce their analgesic effect.Calcium responses and currents were studied in cultured TRPA1-expressing rodent dorsal root ganglion neurons and human cells. Acute nociception and mechanical hypersensitivity were investigated in naïve and genetically manipulated mice.Pyrazolone and PDs selectively inhibited calcium responses and currents in TRPA1-expressing cells and acute nocifensor responses in mice evoked by reactive channel agonists (allyl isothiocyanate, acrolein and H2 O2 ). In line with recent results obtained with TRPA1 antagonists and TRPA1 gene deletion, the two most largely used PDs, dipyrone and propyphenazone, attenuated TRPA1-mediated nociception and mechanical allodynia in models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain (formalin, carrageenan, partial sciatic nerve ligation and the chemotherapeutic drug, bortezomib). Notably, dipyrone and propyphenazone attenuated carrageenan-evoked mechanical allodynia, without affecting PGE2 levels. The main metabolites of PDs did not target TRPA1 and did not affect TRPA1-dependent nociception and allodynia.Evidence that in rodents the nociceptive/hyperalgesic effect produced by TRPA1 activation is blocked by PDs suggests that a similar pathway is attenuated by PDs in humans and that TRPA1 antagonists could be novel analgesics, devoid of the adverse haematological effects of PDs.
Project description:Clinical and basic research on regulation of pituitary hormones, extra-pituitary release of these hormones, distribution of their receptors and cell signaling pathways recruited upon receptor binding suggests that pituitary hormones can regulate mechanisms of nociceptive transmission in multiple orofacial pain conditions. Moreover, many pituitary hormones either regulate glands that produce gonadal hormones (GnH) or are regulated by GnH. This implies that pituitary hormones may be involved in sex-dependent mechanisms of orofacial pain and could help explain why certain orofacial pain conditions are more prevalent in women than men. Overall, regulation of nociception by pituitary hormones is a relatively new and emerging area of pain research. The aims of this review article are to: (1) present an overview of clinical conditions leading to orofacial pain that are associated with alterations of serum pituitary hormone levels; (2) discuss proposed mechanisms of how pituitary hormones could regulate nociceptive transmission; and (3) outline how pituitary hormones could regulate nociception in a sex-specific fashion. Pituitary hormones are routinely used for hormonal replacement therapy, while both receptor antagonists and agonists are used to manage certain pathological conditions related to hormonal imbalance. Administration of these hormones may also have a place in the treatment of pain, including orofacial pain. Hence, understanding the involvement of pituitary hormones in orofacial pain, especially sex-dependent aspects of such pain, is essential to both optimize current therapies as well as provide novel and sex-specific pharmacology for a diversity of associated conditions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Subtypes of sigma (?) receptors, ?? and ??, can be pharmacologically distinguished, and each may be involved in substance-abuse disorders. ?-Receptor antagonists block cocaine place conditioning and ?-receptor agonists are self-administered in rats that previously self-administered cocaine. Self-administration of abused drugs has been related to increased dopamine (DA) neurotransmission, however, ?-receptor agonist effects on mesolimbic DA are not fully characterized. METHODS:Receptor-binding studies assessed affinities of ?-receptor ligands for ?-receptor subtypes and the DA transporter; effects on DA transmission in the rat nucleus accumbens shell were assessed using in vivo microdialysis. RESULTS:Cocaine (.1-1.0 mg/kg intravenous [IV]), the nonselective ?(½)-receptor agonist DTG (1.0-5.6 mg/kg IV), and the selective ??-receptor agonist PRE-084 (.32-10 mg/kg IV) dose-dependently increased DA to ?275%, ?150%, and ?160% maxima, respectively. DTG-induced stimulation of DA was antagonized by the nonselective ?(½)-receptor antagonist BD 1008 (10 mg/kg intraperitoneal [IP]) and the preferential ??-receptor antagonist SN 79 (1-3 mg/kg IP), but not by the preferential ??-receptor antagonist, BD 1063 (10-30 mg/kg IP). Neither PRE-084 nor cocaine was antagonized by BD 1063 or BD 1008. CONCLUSIONS:?-Receptor agonists stimulated DA in a brain area critical for reinforcing effects of cocaine. DTG effects on DA appear to be mediated by ??-receptors rather than ??-receptors. However, DA stimulation by cocaine or PRE-084 does not likely involve ?-receptors. The relatively low potency on DA transmission of the selective ??-receptor agonist, PRE-084, and its previously reported potent reinforcing effects, suggest a dopamine-independent reinforcing pathway that may contribute to substance-abuse disorders.
Project description:RATIONALE: We evaluated the effects of haloperidol and its metabolites on capsaicin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity (allodynia) and on nociceptive pain induced by punctate mechanical stimuli in mice. RESULTS: Subcutaneous administration of haloperidol or its metabolites I or II (reduced haloperidol) dose-dependently reversed capsaicin-induced (1 microg, intraplantar) mechanical hypersensitivity of the hind paw (stimulated with a nonpainful, 0.5-g force, punctate stimulus). The order of potency of these drugs to induce antiallodynic effects was the order of their affinity for brain sigma-1 (sigma(1)) receptor ([(3)H](+)-pentazocine-labeled). Antiallodynic activity of haloperidol and its metabolites was dose-dependently prevented by the selective sigma(1) receptor agonist PRE-084, but not by naloxone. These results suggest the involvement of sigma(1) receptors, but discard any role of the endogenous opioid system, on the antiallodynic effects. Dopamine receptor antagonism also appears unlikely to be involved in these effects, since the D(2)/D(3) receptor antagonist (-)-sulpiride, which had no affinity for sigma(1) receptors, showed no antiallodynic effect. None of these drugs modified hind-paw withdrawal after a painful (4 g force) punctate mechanical stimulus in noncapsaicin-sensitized animals. As expected, the control drug gabapentin showed antiallodynic but not antinociceptive activity, whereas clonidine exhibited both activities and rofecoxib, used as negative control, showed neither. CONCLUSION: These results show that haloperidol and its metabolites I and II produce antiallodynic but not antinociceptive effects against punctate mechanical stimuli and suggest that their antiallodynic effect may be due to blockade of sigma(1) receptors but not to dopamine receptor antagonism.
Project description:The integration of somatosensory information is generally assumed to be a function of the central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe fully functional GABAergic communication within rodent peripheral sensory ganglia and show that it can modulate transmission of pain-related signals from the peripheral sensory nerves to the CNS. We found that sensory neurons express major proteins necessary for GABA synthesis and release and that sensory neurons released GABA in response to depolarization. In vivo focal infusion of GABA or GABA reuptake inhibitor to sensory ganglia dramatically reduced acute peripherally induced nociception and alleviated neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In addition, focal application of GABA receptor antagonists to sensory ganglia triggered or exacerbated peripherally induced nociception. We also demonstrated that chemogenetic or optogenetic depolarization of GABAergic dorsal root ganglion neurons in vivo reduced acute and chronic peripherally induced nociception. Mechanistically, GABA depolarized the majority of sensory neuron somata, yet produced a net inhibitory effect on the nociceptive transmission due to the filtering effect at nociceptive fiber T-junctions. Our findings indicate that peripheral somatosensory ganglia represent a hitherto underappreciated site of somatosensory signal integration and offer a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Cannabinoids suppress behavioural responses to noxious stimulation and suppress nociceptive transmission through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptor subtypes. CB1 receptors are expressed at high levels in the central nervous system (CNS), whereas CB2 receptors are found predominantly, but not exclusively, outside the CNS. CB2 receptors are also upregulated in the CNS and dorsal root ganglia by pathological pain states. Here, we review behavioural, neurochemical and electrophysiological data, which identify cannabinoid CB2 receptors as a therapeutic target for treating pathological pain states with limited centrally, mediated side effects. The development of CB2-selective agonists (with minimal affinity for CB1) as well as mutant mice lacking CB2 receptors has provided pharmacological and genetic tools required to evaluate the effectiveness of CB2 agonists in suppressing persistent pain states. This review will examine the efficacy of cannabinoid CB2-selective agonists in suppressing acute, inflammatory and neuropathic nociception following systemic and local routes of administration. Data derived from behavioural, neurochemical and neurophysiological approaches are discussed to better understand the relationship between antinociceptive effects induced by CB2-selective agonists in behavioural studies and neural mechanisms of pain suppression. Finally, the therapeutic potential and possible limitations of CB2-based pharmacotherapies for pathological pain states induced by tissue and nerve injury are discussed.
Project description:The present study explored the role of the medial septal region (MS) in experimental neuropathic pain. For the first time, we found that the MS sustains nociceptive behaviors in rodent models of neuropathic pain, especially in the chronic constriction injury (CCI) model and the paclitaxel model of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. For example, inactivation of the MS with intraseptal muscimol (2??g/?l, 0.5??l), a GABA mimetic, reversed peripheral hypersensitivity (PH) in the CCI model and induced place preference in a conditioned place preference task, a surrogate measure of spontaneous nociception. The effect of intraseptal muscimol on PH was comparable to that seen with microinjection of the local anesthetic, lidocaine, into rostral ventromedial medulla which is implicated in facilitating experimental chronic nociception. Cellular analysis in the CCI model showed that the MS region sustains nociceptive gain with CCI by facilitating basal nociceptive processing and the amplification of stimulus-evoked neural processing. Indeed, consistent with the idea that excitatory transmission through MS facilitates chronic experimental pain, intraseptal microinjection of antagonists acting at AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors attenuated CCI-induced PH. We propose that the MS is a central monitor of bodily nociception which sustains molecular plasticity triggered by persistent noxious insult.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, and paralysis due to the loss of upper and lower motoneurons (MNs). Sigma-1 receptor (sigma-1R) activation promotes neuroprotection after ischemic and traumatic injuries to the central nervous system. We recently reported that sigma-1R agonist (PRE-084) improves the survival of MNs after root avulsion injury in rats. Moreover, a mutation of the sigma-1R leading to frontotemporal lobar degeneration/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was recently described in human patients. In the present study, we analyzed the potential therapeutic effect of the sigma-1R agonist (PRE-084) in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of ALS. Mice were daily administered with PRE-084 (0.25 mg/kg) from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Functional outcome was assessed by electrophysiological tests and computerized analysis of locomotion. Histological, immunohistochemical analyses and Western blot of the spinal cord were performed. PRE-084 administration from 8 weeks of age improved the function of MNs, which was manifested by maintenance of the amplitude of muscle action potentials and locomotor behavior, and preserved neuromuscular connections and MNs in the spinal cord. Moreover, it extended survival in both female and male mice by more than 15 %. Delayed administration of PRE-084 from 12 weeks of age also significantly improved functional outcome and preservation of the MNs. There was an induction of protein kinase C-specific phosphorylation of the NR1 subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in SOD1(G93A) animals, and a reduction of the microglial reactivity compared with untreated mice. PRE-084 exerts a dual therapeutic contribution, modulating NMDA Ca(2+) influx to protect MNs, and the microglial reactivity to ameliorate the MN environment. In conclusion, sigma-1R agonists, such as PRE-084, may be promising candidates for a therapeutical strategy of ALS.