Fibronectin/integrin system is involved in P2X4 receptor upregulation in the spinal cord and neuropathic pain after nerve injury
ABSTRACT We have previously shown that activation of the ATP-gated ion channel subtype P2X(4) receptors (P2X(4)Rs) in the spinal cord, the expression of which is upregulated in microglia after nerve injury, is necessary for producing neuropathic pain. The upregulation of P2X(4)Rs in microglia is, therefore, a key process in neuropathic pain, but the mechanism remains unknown. Here, we find a fibronectin/integrin-dependent mechanism in the upregulation of P2X(4)Rs. Microglia cultured on dishes coated with fibronectin, an extracellular matrix molecule, expressed a higher level of P2X(4)R protein when compared with those cultured on control dishes. The increase was suppressed by echistatin, a peptide that selectively blocks beta(1) and beta(3)-containing integrins, and with a function-blocking antibody of beta(1) integrin. In in vivo studies, the upregulation of P2X(4)Rs in the spinal cord after spinal nerve injury was significantly suppressed by intrathecal administration of echistatin. Tactile allodynia in response to nerve injury and intrathecal administration of ATP- and fibronectin-stimulated microglia was inhibited by echistatin. Furthermore, intrathecal administration of fibronectin in normal rats increased the level of P2X(4)R protein in the spinal cord and produced tactile allodynia. Moreover, the fibronectin-induced allodynia was not observed in mice lacking P2X(4)R. Taken together with the results of our previous study showing an increase in the spinal fibronectin level after nerve injury, the present results suggest that the fibronectin/integrin system participates in the upregulation of P2X(4)R expression after nerve injury and subsequent neuropathic pain.
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ABSTRACT: The whisker pad area (WP) is innervated by the second branch of the trigeminal nerve and experiences allodynia and hyperalgesia following transection of the mental nerve (MN; the third branch of the trigeminal nerve). However, the mechanisms of this extra-territorial pain remain unclear. The ionotropic P2X(7) ATP receptor (P2X(7)) in microglia is known to potentiate, via cytokines, the perception of noxious stimuli, raising the possibility that P2X(7) and cytokines are involved in this extra-territorial pain. One day after MN transection (MNT), WP allodynia/hyperalgesia developed, which lasted for > 8 wks. Activation of microglia and up-regulation of P2X(7), membrane-bound tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (mTNF-α), and soluble TNF-α (sTNF-α) in the trigeminal sensory nuclear complex (TNC) were evident for up to 6 wks after MNT. Allodynia/hyperalgesia after MNT was blocked by intracisternal administration of etanercept, a recombinant TNF-α receptor (p75)-Fc fusion protein. Intracisternal A438079, a P2X(7) antagonist, also attenuated allodynia/hyperalgesia and blocked up-regulation of mTNF-α and sTNF-α in the TNC. We conclude that sTNF-α released by microglia following P2X(7) activation may be important in both the initiation and maintenance of extra-territorial pain after MNT.Journal of dental research 01/2013; 92(3). DOI:10.1177/0022034512474668 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Acupuncture (AP) is currently used worldwide to relieve pain. However, little is known about its mechanisms of action. We found that after spinal cord injury (SCI), AP inhibited the production of superoxide anion (O(2)·), which acted as a modulator for microglial activation, and the analgesic effect of AP was attributed to its anti-microglial activating action. Direct injection of a ROS scavenger inhibited SCI-induced NP. After contusion injury which induces the below-level neuropathic pain (NP), Shuigou and Yanglingquan acupoints were applied. AP relieved mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, while vehicle and simulated AP did not. AP also decreased the proportion of activated microglia, and inhibited both p38MAPK and ERK activation in microglia at the L4-5. Also, the level of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE2), which is produced via ERK signaling and mediates the below-level pain through PGE2 receptor, was reduced by AP. Injection of p38MAPK or ERK inhibitors attenuated NP and decreased PGE2 production. Furthermore, ROS produced after injury-induced p38MAPK and ERK activation in microglia, and mediated mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, which were inhibited by AP or a ROS scavenger. AP also inhibited the expression of inflammatory mediators. Therefore, our results suggest that the analgesic effect of AP may be partly mediated by inhibiting ROS-induced microglial activation and inflammatory responses after SCI and provide the possibility that AP can be used effectively as a non-pharmacological intervention for SCI-induced chronic NP in patients.Experimental Neurology 05/2012; 236(2):268-82. DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2012.05.014 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Limited axonal plasticity within the central nervous system (CNS) is a major restriction for functional recovery after CNS injury. The small GTPase RhoA is a key molecule of the converging downstream cascade that leads to the inhibition of axonal re-growth. The Rho-pathway integrates growth inhibitory signals derived from extracellular cues, such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Nogo-A, myelin-associated glycoprotein, oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein, Ephrins and repulsive guidance molecule-A, into the damaged axon. Consequently, the activation of RhoA results in growth cone collapse and finally outgrowth failure. In turn, the inhibition of RhoA-activation blinds the injured axon to its growth inhibitory environment resulting in enhanced axonal sprouting and plasticity. This has been demonstrated in various CNS-injury models for direct RhoA-inhibition and for downstream/upstream blockade of the RhoA-associated pathway. In addition, RhoA-inhibition reduces apoptotic cell death and secondary damage and improves locomotor recovery in clinically relevant models after experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). Unexpectedly, a subset of "small molecules" from the group of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly the FDA-approved ibuprofen, has recently been identified as (1) inhibiting RhoA-activation, (2) enhancing axonal sprouting/regeneration, (3) protecting "tissue at risk" (neuroprotection) and (4) improving motor recovery confined to realistic therapeutical time-frames in clinically relevant SCI models. Here, we survey the effect of small-molecule-induced RhoA-inhibition on axonal plasticity and neurofunctional outcome in CNS injury paradigms. Furthermore, we discuss the body of preclinical evidence for a possible clinical translation with a focus on ibuprofen and illustrate putative risks and benefits for the treatment of acute SCI.Cell and Tissue Research 02/2012; 349(1):119-32. DOI:10.1007/s00441-012-1334-7 · 3.33 Impact Factor