Increased Expression of Fibronectin Leucine-Rich Transmembrane Protein 3 in the Dorsal Root Ganglion Induces Neuropathic Pain in Rats.
ABSTRACT: Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition that occurs frequently after nerve injury and induces hypersensitivity or allodynia characterized by aberrant neuronal excitability in the spinal cord dorsal horn. Fibronectin leucine-rich transmembrane protein 3 (FLRT3) is a modulator of neurite outgrowth, axon pathfinding, and cell adhesion, which is upregulated in the dorsal horn following peripheral nerve injury. However, the function of FLRT3 in adults remains unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the involvement of spinal FLRT3 in neuropathic pain using rodent models. In the dorsal horns of male rats, FLRT3 protein levels increased at day 4 after peripheral nerve injury. In the DRG, FLRT3 was expressed in activating transcription factor 3-positive, injured sensory neurons. Peripheral nerve injury stimulated Flrt3 transcription in the DRG but not in the spinal cord. Intrathecal administration of FLRT3 protein to naive rats induced mechanical allodynia and GluN2B phosphorylation in the spinal cord. DRG-specific FLRT3 overexpression using adeno-associated virus also produced mechanical allodynia. Conversely, a function-blocking FLRT3 antibody attenuated mechanical allodynia after partial sciatic nerve ligation. Therefore, FLRT3 derived from injured DRG neurons increases dorsal horn excitability and induces mechanical allodynia.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuropathic pain occurs frequently after nerve injury and is associated with abnormal neuronal excitability in the spinal cord. Fibronectin leucine-rich transmembrane protein 3 (FLRT3) regulates neurite outgrowth and cell adhesion. Here, nerve injury increased FLRT3 protein levels in the spinal cord dorsal root, despite the fact that Flrt3 transcripts were only induced in the DRG. FLRT3 protein injection into the rat spinal cord induced mechanical hypersensitivity, as did virus-mediated FLRT3 overexpression in DRG. Conversely, FLRT3 inhibition with antibodies attenuated mechanically induced pain after nerve damage. These findings suggest that FLRT3 is produced by injured DRG neurons and increases neuronal excitability in the dorsal horn, leading to pain sensitization. Neuropathic pain induction is a novel function of FLRT3.
Project description:Peripheral nerve injury induces upregulation of the calcium channel alpha2delta-1 structural subunit in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and dorsal spinal cord of spinal nerve-ligated rats with neuropathic pain, suggesting a role of the calcium channel alpha2delta-1 subunit in central sensitization. To investigate whether spinal dorsal horn alpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation derives from increased DRG alpha2delta-1 subunit and plays a causal role in neuropathic pain development, we examined spinal dorsal hornalpha2delta-1 subunit expression with or without dorsal rhizotomy in spinal nerve-ligated rats and its correlation with tactile allodynia, a neuropathic pain state defined as reduced thresholds to non-noxious tactile stimulation. We also examined the effects of intrathecal alpha2delta-1 antisense oligonucleotides on alpha2delta-1 subunit expression and neuropathic allodynia in the nerve-ligated rats. Our data indicated that spinal nerve injury resulted in time-dependentalpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation in the spinal dorsal horn that correlated temporally with neuropathic allodynia development and maintenance. Dorsal rhizotomy diminished basal level expression and blocked injury-induced expression of the spinal dorsal hornalpha2delta-1 subunit and reversed injury-induced tactile allodynia. In addition, intrathecal alpha2delta-1 antisense oligonucleotides blocked injury-induced dorsal horn alpha2delta-1 subunit upregulation and diminished tactile allodynia. These findings indicate that alpha2delta-1 subunit basal expression occurs presynaptically and postsynaptically in spinal dorsal horn. Nerve injury induces mainly presynaptic alpha2delta-1 subunit expression that derives from increased alpha2delta-1 subunit in injured DRG neurons. Thus, changes in presynaptic alpha2delta-1 subunit expression contribute to injury-induced spinal neuroplasticity and central sensitization that underlies neuropathic pain development and maintenance.
Project description:Although pregabalin therapy is beneficial for neuropathic pain (NeP) by targeting the CaV?2?-1 subunit, its site of action is uncertain. Direct targeting of the central nervous system may be beneficial for the avoidance of systemic side effects.We used intranasal, intrathecal, and near-nerve chamber forms of delivery of varying concentrations of pregabalin or saline delivered over 14 days in rat models of experimental diabetic peripheral neuropathy and spinal nerve ligation. As well, radiolabelled pregabalin was administered to determine localization with different deliveries. We evaluated tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia at multiple time points, and then analyzed harvested nervous system tissues for molecular and immunohistochemical changes in CaV?2?-1 protein expression. Both intrathecal and intranasal pregabalin administration at high concentrations relieved NeP behaviors, while near-nerve pregabalin delivery had no effect. NeP was associated with upregulation of CACNA2D1 mRNA and CaV?2?-1 protein within peripheral nerve, dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and dorsal spinal cord, but not brain. Pregabalin's effect was limited to suppression of CaV?2?-1 protein (but not CACNA2D1 mRNA) expression at the spinal dorsal horn in neuropathic pain states. Dorsal root ligation prevented CaV?2?-1 protein trafficking anterograde from the dorsal root ganglia to the dorsal horn after neuropathic pain initiation.Either intranasal or intrathecal pregabalin relieves neuropathic pain behaviours, perhaps due to pregabalin's effect upon anterograde CaV?2?-1 protein trafficking from the DRG to the dorsal horn. Intranasal delivery of agents such as pregabalin may be an attractive alternative to systemic therapy for management of neuropathic pain states.
Project description:High voltage-activated calcium channels (HVACCs) are essential for synaptic and nociceptive transmission. Although blocking HVACCs can effectively reduce pain, this treatment strategy is associated with intolerable adverse effects. Neuronal HVACCs are typically composed of ?(1), ? (Cav?), and ?(2)? subunits. The Cav? subunit plays a crucial role in the membrane expression and gating properties of the pore-forming ?(1) subunit. However, little is known about how nerve injury affects the expression and function of Cav? subunits in primary sensory neurons. In this study, we found that Cav?(3) and Cav?(4) are the most prominent subtypes expressed in the rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and dorsal spinal cord. Spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats significantly increased mRNA and protein levels of the Cav?(3), but not Cav?(4), subunit in the DRG. SNL also significantly increased HVACC currents in small DRG neurons and monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents of spinal dorsal horn neurons evoked from the dorsal root. Intrathecal injection of Cav?(3)-specific siRNA significantly reduced HVACC currents in small DRG neurons and the amplitude of monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents of dorsal horn neurons in SNL rats. Furthermore, intrathecal treatment with Cav?(3)-specific siRNA normalized mechanical hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia caused by SNL but had no significant effect on the normal nociceptive threshold. Our findings provide novel evidence that increased expression of the Cav?(3) subunit augments HVACC activity in primary sensory neurons and nociceptive input to dorsal horn neurons in neuropathic pain. Targeting the Cav?(3) subunit at the spinal level represents an effective strategy for treating neuropathic pain.
Project description:Neuropathic pain results from nerve injuries that cause ectopic firing and increased nociceptive signal transmission due to activation of key membrane receptors and channels. The dysregulation of trafficking of voltage-gated ion channels is an emerging mechanism in the etiology of neuropathic pain. We identify increased phosphorylation of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), a protein reported to regulate presynaptic voltage-gated calcium and sodium channels. A spared nerve injury (SNI) increased expression of a cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5)-phosphorylated form of CRMP2 in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in the ipsilateral (injured) versus the contralateral (non-injured) sites. Biochemical fractionation of spinal cord from SNI rats revealed the increase in Cdk5-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation to be enriched to pre-synaptic sites. CRMP2 has emerged as a central node in assembling nociceptive signaling complexes. Knockdown of CRMP2 using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) reversed SNI-induced mechanical allodynia implicating CRMP2 expression as necessary for neuropathic pain. Intrathecal expression of a CRMP2 resistant to phosphorylation by Cdk5 normalized SNI-induced mechanical allodynia, whereas mimicking constitutive phosphorylation of CRMP2 resulted in induction of mechanical allodynia in naïve rats. Collectively, these results demonstrate that Cdk5-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation is both necessary and sufficient for peripheral neuropathic pain.
Project description:Emerging evidence indicates that CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is involved in chronic pain. However, few studies have systemically assessed its role in direct nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain and the underlying mechanism. Here, we determined that spared nerve injury (SNI) increased the expression of CXCL12 and its cognate receptor CXCR4 in lumbar 5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and satellite glial cells. SNI also induced long-lasting upregulation of CXCL12 and CXCR4 in the ipsilateral L4-5 spinal cord dorsal horn, characterized by CXCL12 expression in neurons and microglia, and CXCR4 expression in neurons and astrocytes. Moreover, SNI-induced a sustained increase in TNF-α expression in the DRG and spinal cord. Intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) of the TNF-α synthesis inhibitor thalidomide reduced the SNI-induced mechanical hypersensitivity and inhibited the expression of CXCL12 in the DRG and spinal cord. Intrathecal injection (i.t.) of the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100, both 30 min before and 7 days after SNI, reduced the behavioral signs of allodynia. Rats given an i.t. or i.p. bolus of AMD3100 on day 8 of SNI exhibited attenuated abnormal pain behaviors. The neuropathic pain established following SNI was also impaired by i.t. administration of a CXCL12-neutralizing antibody. Moreover, repetitive i.t. AMD3100 administration prevented the activation of ERK in the spinal cord. The mechanical hypersensitivity induced in naïve rats by i.t. CXCL12 was alleviated by pretreatment with the MEK inhibitor PD98059. Collectively, our results revealed that TNF-α might mediate the upregulation of CXCL12 in the DRG and spinal cord following SNI, and that CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling via ERK activation contributes to the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain.
Project description:Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multifunctional protein that contains angiogenic and neurotrophic properties. In the current study, we investigated the analgesic effects of HGF by using a plasmid DNA that was designed to express 2 isoforms of human HGF-pCK-HGF-X7 (or VM202)-in a chronic constriction injury (CCI) -induced mouse neuropathic pain model. Intramuscular injection of pCK-HGF-X7 into proximal thigh muscle induced the expression of HGF in the muscle, sciatic nerve, and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). This gene transfer procedure significantly attenuated mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia after CCI. Injury-induced expression of activating transcription factor 3, calcium channel subunit ?2?1, and CSF1 in the ipsilateral DRG neurons was markedly down-regulated in the pCK-HGF-X7-treated group, which suggested that HGF might exert its analgesic effects by inhibiting pain-mediating genes in the sensory neurons. In addition, suppressed CSF1 expression in DRG neurons by pCK-HGF-X7 treatment was accompanied by a noticeable suppression of the nerve injury-induced glial cell activation in the spinal cord dorsal horn. Taken together, our data show that pCK-HGF-X7 attenuates nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain by inhibiting pain-related factors in DRG neurons and subsequent spinal cord glial activation, which suggests its therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of neuropathic pain.-Nho, B., Lee, J., Lee, J., Ko, K. R., Lee, S. J., Kim, S. Effective control of neuropathic pain by transient expression of hepatocyte growth factor in a mouse chronic constriction injury model.
Project description:Neuropathic pain is a chronic debilitating disease that results from nerve damage, persists long after the injury has subsided, and is characterized by spontaneous pain and mechanical hypersensitivity. Although loss of inhibitory tone in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord is a major contributor to neuropathic pain, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this disinhibition are unclear. Here, we combined pharmacogenetic activation and selective ablation approaches in mice to define the contribution of spinal cord parvalbumin (PV)-expressing inhibitory interneurons in naive and neuropathic pain conditions. Ablating PV neurons in naive mice produce neuropathic pain-like mechanical allodynia via disinhibition of PKC? excitatory interneurons. Conversely, activating PV neurons in nerve-injured mice alleviates mechanical hypersensitivity. These findings indicate that PV interneurons are modality-specific filters that gate mechanical but not thermal inputs to the dorsal horn and that increasing PV interneuron activity can ameliorate the mechanical hypersensitivity that develops following nerve injury.
Project description:Neuropathic pain, a debilitating pain condition, is a common consequence of damage to the nervous system. Optimal treatment of neuropathic pain is a major clinical challenge because the underlying mechanisms remain unclear and currently available treatments are frequently ineffective. Emerging lines of evidence indicate that peripheral nerve injury converts resting spinal cord glia into reactive cells that are required for the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. However, the mechanisms underlying reactive astrogliosis after nerve injury are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated cell proliferation, a critical process in reactive astrogliosis, and determined the temporally restricted proliferation of dorsal horn astrocytes in rats with spinal nerve injury, a well-known model of neuropathic pain. We found that nerve injury-induced astrocyte proliferation requires the Janus kinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signalling pathway. Nerve injury induced a marked signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 nuclear translocation, a primary index of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 activation, in dorsal horn astrocytes. Intrathecally administering inhibitors of Janus kinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signalling to rats with nerve injury reduced the number of proliferating dorsal horn astrocytes and produced a recovery from established tactile allodynia, a cardinal symptom of neuropathic pain that is characterized by pain hypersensitivity evoked by innocuous stimuli. Moreover, recovery from tactile allodynia was also produced by direct suppression of dividing astrocytes by intrathecal administration of the cell cycle inhibitor flavopiridol to nerve-injured rats. Together, these results imply that the Janus kinase-signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signalling pathway are critical transducers of astrocyte proliferation and maintenance of tactile allodynia and may be a therapeutic target for neuropathic pain.
Project description:Facet joint injury induces persistent pain that may be maintained by structural plasticity in the spinal cord. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondins, especially thrombospondin-4 (TSP4), have been implicated in synaptogenesis and spinal sensitization in neuropathic pain, but the TSP4 response and its relationship to synaptic changes in the spinal cord have not been investigated for painful joint injury. This study investigates the role of TSP4 in the development and maintenance of persistent pain following injurious facet joint distraction in rats and tests the hypothesis that excitatory synaptogenesis contributes to such pain. Painful facet joint loading induces dorsal horn excitatory synaptogenesis along with decreased TSP4 in the DRG and increased astrocytic release of TSP4 in the spinal cord, all of which parallel the time course of sustained tactile allodynia. Blocking injury-induced spinal TSP4 expression with antisense oligonucleotides or reducing TSP4 activity at its neuronal receptor in the spinal cord with gabapentin treatment both attenuate the allodynia and dorsal horn synaptogenesis that develop after painful facet joint loading. Increased spinal TSP4 also facilitates the development of allodynia and spinal hyperexcitability, even after non-painful physiological loading of the facet joint. These results suggest that spinal TSP4 plays an important role in the development and maintenance of persistent joint-mediated pain by inducing excitatory synaptogenesis and facilitating the transduction of mechanical loading of the facet joint that leads to spinal hyperexcitability.
Project description:Peripheral nerve injury can lead to a persistent neuropathic pain state in which innocuous tactile stimulation elicits pain behavior (tactile allodynia). Spinal administration of the anticonvulsant gabapentin suppresses allodynia by an unknown mechanism. In vitro studies indicate that gabapentin binds to the alpha(2)delta-1 (hereafter referred to as alpha(2)delta) subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels. We hypothesized that nerve injury may result in altered alpha(2)delta subunit expression in spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and that this change may play a role in neuropathic pain processing. Using a rat neuropathic pain model in which gabapentin-sensitive tactile allodynia develops after tight ligation of the left fifth and sixth lumbar spinal nerves, we found a >17-fold, time-dependent increase in alpha(2)delta subunit expression in DRGs ipsilateral to the nerve injury. Marked alpha(2)delta subunit upregulation was also evident in rats with unilateral sciatic nerve crush, but not dorsal rhizotomy, indicating a peripheral origin of the expression regulation. The increased alpha(2)delta subunit expression preceded the allodynia onset and diminished in rats recovering from tactile allodynia. RNase protection experiments indicated that the DRG alpha(2)delta regulation was at the mRNA level. In contrast, calcium channel alpha(1B) and beta(3) subunit expression was not co-upregulated with the alpha(2)delta subunit after nerve injury. These data suggest that DRG alpha(2)delta regulation may play an unique role in neuroplasticity after peripheral nerve injury that may contribute to allodynia development.