Imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory amino acids at spinal level is associated with maintenance of persistent pain-related behaviors.

Institute for Biomedical Sciences of Pain, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, PR China.
Pharmacological Research (Impact Factor: 4.35). 06/2009; 59(5):290-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2009.01.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the postsynaptic events responsible for development of pathological pain have been intensively studied, the relative contribution of presynaptic neurotransmitters to the whole process remains less elucidated. In the present investigation, we sought to measure temporal changes in spinal release of both excitatory amino acids (EAAs, glutamate and aspartate) and inhibitory amino acids (IAAs, glycine, ?-aminobutyric acid and taurine) in response to peripheral inflammatory pain state. The results showed that following peripheral chemical insult induced by subcutaneous bee venom (BV) injection, there was an initial, parallel increase in spinal release of both EAAs and IAAs, however, the balance between them was gradually disrupted when pain persisted longer, with EAAs remaining at higher level but IAAs at a level below the baseline. Moreover, the EAAs-IAAs imbalance at the spinal level was dependent upon the ongoing activity from the peripheral injury site. Intrathecal blockade of ionotropic (NMDA and non-NMDA) and metabotropic (mGluRI, II, III) glutamate receptors, respectively, resulted in a differential inhibition of BV-induced different types of pain (persistent nociception vs. hyperalgesia, or thermal vs. mechanical hyperalgesia), implicating that spinal antagonism of any specific glutamate receptor subtype fails to block all types of pain-related behaviors. This result provides a new line of evidence emphasizing an importance of restoration of EAAs-IAAs balance at the spinal level to prevent persistence or chronicity of pain.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic most commonly used in many pediatric procedures, has been reported in many animal studies to cause widespread neuroapoptosis in the neonatal brain after exposure in high doses and/or for prolonged period. This neurodegenerative change occurs most severely in the forebrain including the anterior cingulated cortex (ACC) that is an important brain structure for mediating a variety of cognitive functions. However, it is still unknown whether such apoptotic neurodegeneration early in life would subsequently impair the synaptic plasticity of the ACC later in life. In this study, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from the ACC brain slices of young adult rats to examine any alterations in long-term synaptic plasticity caused by neonatal ketamine exposure. Ketamine was administered at postnatal day 4-7 (subcutaneous injections, 20 mg/kg given six times, once every 2 h). At 3-4 weeks of age, long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced and recorded by monitoring excitatory postsynaptic currents from ACC slices. We found that the induction of LTP in the ACC was significantly reduced when compared to the control group. The LTP impairment was accompanied by an increase in the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission and a decrease in GABA inhibitory synaptic transmission in neurons of the ACC. Thus, our present findings show that neonatal ketamine exposure causes a significant LTP impairment in the ACC. We suggest that the imbalanced synaptic transmission is likely to contribute to ketamine-induced LTP impairment in the ACC.
    Neuroscience 03/2014; · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In the orofacial region, limited information is available concerning pathological tongue pain, such as inflammatory pain or neuropathic pain occurring in the tongue. Here, we tried for the first time to establish a novel animal model of inflammatory tongue pain in rats and to investigate the roles of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling in this process. METHODS: Complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) was submucosally injected into the tongue to induce the inflammatory pain phenotype that was confirmed by behavioral testing. Expression of phosphorylated ERK (pERK) and mGluR5 in the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) and upper cervical spinal cord (C1-C2) were detected with immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting. pERK inhibitor, a selective mGluR5 antagonist or agonist was continuously administered for 7 days via an intrathecal (i.t.) route. Local inflammatory responses were verified by tongue histology. RESULTS: Submucosal injection of CFA into the tongue produced a long-lasting mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia at the inflamed site, concomitant with an increase in the pERK immunoreactivity in the Vc and C1-C2. The distribution of pERK-IR cells was laminar specific, ipsilaterally dominant, somatotopically relevant, and rostrocaudally restricted. Western blot analysis also showed an enhanced activation of ERK in the Vc and C1-C2 following CFA injection. Continuous i.t. administration of the pERK inhibitor and a selective mGluR5 antagonist significantly depressed the mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in the CFA-injected tongue. In addition, the number of pERK-IR cells in ipsilateral Vc and C1-C2 was also decreased by both drugs. Moreover, continuous i.t. administration of a selective mGluR5 agonist induced mechanical allodynia in naive rats. CONCLUSIONS: The present study constructed a new animal model of inflammatory tongue pain in rodents, and demonstrated pivotal roles of the mGluR5-pERK signaling in the development of mechanical and heat hypersensitivity that evolved in the inflamed tongue. This tongue-inflamed model might be useful for future studies to further elucidate molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathological tongue pain such as burning mouth syndrome.
    Journal of Neuroinflammation 11/2012; 9(1):258. · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The temporal activation of the sensory systems, especially in pain, determines intermediate states that define the future of the response to sensory stimulation. In this work, we interfere pharmacologically with those states that produce peripheral and central sensitisation after an acute inflammatory process, inhibiting at the periphery the COX-2 with celecoxib and using taurine (glycine A receptor agonist) for central pain relief. We tested the paw withdrawal reflex latencies to thermo- and mechanonociception after the induction of an acute inflammatory process with carrageenan. Celecoxib at low doses [0.13 and 1.3 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)] in combination with taurine (300 mg/kg, i.p.) produces a decrease of the nociceptive response in thermo- and mechanonociception, as compared with the effect of both drugs alone. We propose that the enhancement of the analgesic effect of celecoxib in combination with taurine could be due the simultaneous action of these drugs at both, peripheral and central levels.
    Inflammation 01/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 17, 2014