NK-1 receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla contribute to hyperalgesia produced by intraplantar injection of capsaicin
ABSTRACT The rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) is an area of the brainstem involved in the descending modulation of nociception at the level of the spinal cord. Although the RVM is involved in the inhibition or facilitation of nociception, the underlying mechanisms are not understood. Here we examined the role of the neuropeptide substance P and neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptors located in the RVM on withdrawal responses evoked by mechanical and heat stimuli applied to the rat hindpaw under normal conditions and during hyperalgesia produced by capsaicin. The mechanical withdrawal threshold was obtained using von Frey monofilaments applied to the plantar surface of the hindpaw. Sensitivity to heat was determined by measuring the latency to withdrawal from radiant heat applied to the plantar surface. Mechanical and heat hyperalgesia were defined as a decrease in withdrawal response threshold or latency, respectively. Rats were prepared with a chronic cannula and either vehicle or the NK-1 receptor antagonists, L-733,060 or RP-67580, was injected into the RVM. Paw withdrawal responses were obtained before and after RVM injection, and then at 5, 30, and 60 min after an intraplantar injection of capsaicin (10 microg). Injection of the NK-1 antagonists at doses of 0.5 pmol or higher did not alter withdrawal responses to mechanical or heat stimuli under normal conditions but reduced the duration of nocifensive behavior and the mechanical and heat hyperalgesia produced by capsaicin. These findings suggest that the activation of NK-1 receptors in the RVM contributes to the hyperalgesia produced by capsaicin.
SourceAvailable from: Yoshihiro Nakata[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Intraplantar injection of 0.4% formalin into the rat hind paw leads to a biphasic nociceptive response; an "acute" phase (0-15 min) and "tonic" phase (16-120 min), which is accompanied by significant phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 in the contralateral striatum at 120 min post-formalin injection. To uncover a possible relationship between the slow-onset substance P (SP) release and increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the striatum, continuous infusion of SP into the striatum by reverse microdialysis (0.4 μg/mL in microdialysis fiber, 1 μL/min) was performed to mimic volume neurotransmission of SP. Continuous infusion for 3 hr of SP reduced the duration of "tonic" phase nociception, and this SP effect was mediated by NK1 receptors since pretreatment with the NK1R antagonist CP96345 (10 μM) blocked the effect of SP infusion. However, formalin induced "tonic" phase nociception was significantly prolonged following acute injection of the MEK1/2 inhibitor PD0325901 (100 pmol) by microinjection. The co-infusion of SP and PD0325901 significantly increased the "tonic" phase of nociception. These data demonstrate that volume transmission of striatal SP triggered by peripheral nociceptive stimulation does not lead to pain facilitation but a significant decrease of tonic nociception by the activation of the SP-NK1R-ERK1/2 system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Journal of Neurochemistry 08/2014; 131(6). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12938 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is well known that neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) are involved in descending modulation of nociceptive transmission in the spinal cord. It has been shown that activation of neurokinin-1 receptors (NK-1R) in the RVM, which are presumably located on pain facilitating ON cells, produces hyperalgesia whereas blockade of NK-1Rs attenuates hyperalgesia. To obtain a better understanding of the functions of NK-1R expressing neurons in the RVM, we selectively ablated these neurons by injecting the stable analog of substance P (SP), Sar(9),Met(O2)(11)-Substance P, conjugated to the ribosomal toxin saporin (SSP-SAP) into the RVM. Rats received injections of SSP-SAP (1 μM) or an equal volume of 1 μM of saporin conjugated to artificial peptide (Blank-SAP). Stereological analysis of NK-1R- and NeuN-labeled neurons in the RVM was determined 21-24 days after treatment. Withdrawal responses to mechanical and heat stimuli applied to the plantar hindpaw were determined 5-28 days after treatment. Withdrawal responses were also determined before and after intraplantar injection of capsaicin (acute hyperalgesia) or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) (prolonged hyperalgesia). The proportion of NK-1R-labeled neurons in the RVM was 8.8 ± 1.3% in naïve rats and 8.1 ± 0.8% in rats treated with Blank-SAP. However, injection of SSP-SAP into the RVM resulted in a 90% decrease in NK-1R-labeled neurons. SSP-SAP did not alter withdrawal responses to mechanical or heat stimuli under normal conditions, and did not alter analgesia produced by morphine administered into the RVM. In contrast, the duration of nocifensive behaviors produced by capsaicin and mechanical and heat hyperalgesia produced by capsaicin and CFA were decreased in rats pretreated with SSP-SAP as compared to those that received Blank-SAP. These data support our earlier studies using NK-1R antagonists in the RVM and demonstrate that RVM neurons that possess the NK-1R do not play a significant role in modulating acute pain or morphine analgesia, but rather are involved in pain facilitation and the development and maintenance of hyperalgesia.Neuroscience 07/2013; 250. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.06.057 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined possible mechanisms by which Substance P (Sub P) assumes a pronociceptive role in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) under conditions of peripheral inflammatory injury, in this case produced by intraplantar (ipl) injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). In saline and CFA-treated rats, neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) immunoreactivity was localized to neurons in the RVM. Four days after ipl injection of CFA, the number of NK1R immunoreactive neurons in the RVM was increased by 30%, and there was a concomitant increase in NK1R immunoreactive processes in CFA-treated rats. Although NK1R immunoreactivity was increased, tachykinin-1 receptor (Tacr1) mRNA was not increased in the RVM of CFA-treated rats. To assess changes in Sub P release, the number of RVM neurons that exhibited NK1R internalization was examined in saline- and CFA-treated rats following noxious heat stimulation of the hind paws. Only CFA-treated rats that experienced noxious heat stimulation exhibited a significant increase in the number of neurons showing NK1R internalization. These data suggest that tonic Sub P release is not increased as a simple consequence of peripheral inflammation, but that phasic or evoked release of Sub P in the RVM is increased in response to noxious peripheral stimulation in a persistent inflammatory state. These data support the proposal that an upregulation of the NK1R in the RVM, as well as enhanced release of Sub P following noxious stimulation underlie the pronociceptive role of Sub P under conditions of persistent inflammatory injury. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.The Journal of Comparative Neurology 09/2014; 522(13). DOI:10.1002/cne.23564 · 3.51 Impact Factor