Article

Glial-Cytokine-Neuronal Interactions Underlying the Mechanisms of Persistent Pain

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, Dental School, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 06/2007; 27(22):6006-18. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0176-07.2007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The emerging literature implicates a role for glia/cytokines in persistent pain. However, the mechanisms by which these non-neural elements contribute to CNS activity-dependent plasticity and pain are unclear. Using a trigeminal model of inflammatory hyperalgesia, here we provide evidence that demonstrates a mechanism by which glia interact with neurons, leading to activity-dependent plasticity and hyperalgesia. In response to masseter inflammation, there was an upregulation of glial fibrillary acidic proteins (GFAPs), a marker of astroglia, and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), a prototype proinflammatory cytokine, in the region of the trigeminal nucleus specifically related to the processing of deep orofacial input. The activated astroglia exhibited hypertrophy and an increased level of connexin 43, an astroglial gap junction protein. The upregulated IL-1beta was selectively localized to astrocytes but not to microglia and neurons. Local anesthesia of the masseter nerve prevented the increase in GFAP and IL-1beta after inflammation, and substance P, a prototype neurotransmitter of primary afferents, induced similar increases in GFAP and IL-1beta, which was blocked by a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. Injection of IL-1 receptor antagonist and fluorocitrate, a glial inhibitor, attenuated hyperalgesia and NMDA receptor phosphorylation after inflammation. In vitro application of IL-1beta induced NR1 phosphorylation, which was blocked by an IL-1 receptor antagonist, a PKC inhibitor (chelerythrine), an IP3 receptor inhibitor (2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate), and inhibitors of phospholipase C [1-[6-((17b-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl)amino)hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione] and phospholipase A2 (arachidonyltrifluoromethyl ketone). These findings provide evidence of astroglial activation by tissue injury, concomitant IL-1beta induction, and the coupling of NMDA receptor phosphorylation through IL-1 receptor signaling.

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    • "In addition, we examined the effect of i.t. administration of chelerythrine , a selective PKC inhibitor (Herbert et al., 1990; Guan et al., 2004; Guo et al., 2007 "
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    • "Regarding NMDAR phosphorylation in pain facilitation, several researchers have indicated a non-negligible role of IL-1β. These authors suggested that IL-1β could directly bind to its receptor, thereby localizing in neurons, and induce NMDA receptor phosphorylation in the neurons of the spinal dorsal horn [66] [67] or medullary dorsal horn [24], ultimately enhancing pain transmission. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is commonly accepted that psychological stress contributes to the development of temporomandibular joint disorders, in which chronic orofacial pain is the main symptom. However, the central mechanism underlying the development of these disorders has remained unclear. The current study was performed to determine the involvement of the glia in the trigeminal spinal subnucleus caudalis in stress-induced increases in masseter muscle hyperalgesia in rats. After being subjected to chronic restraint stress, the animals showed decreased body weight gain, behavioral changes and marked masseter allodynia. We also found that astrocytes, but not microglia, in the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) were dramatically activated. A further analysis was undertaken to investigate the contribution of the glia; we intrathecally injected l-α-aminoadipate (astrocyte-specific inhibitor) and/or minocycline (microglia-specific inhibitor) into the stressed rats. Our results showed that l-α-aminoadipate (LAA), but not minocycline, could significantly attenuate the mechanical masseter allodynia and behavioral changes induced by restraint stress. In addition, the expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and phosphorylated N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor 1 (p-NR1) in the Vc was significantly increased after chronic restraint stress, whereas LAA dramatically inhibited the overexpression of IL-1β and p-NR1. Taken together, these results suggest that activated astrocytes in the Vc may be one of the most important factors in the pathophysiology of masseter hyperalgesia induced by restraint stress and the following overexpression of IL-1β and excessive NMDAR phosphorylation may ultimately contribute to masseter hyperalgesia. Thus, inhibiting spinal astrocytic activation may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of orofacial pain induced by stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Physiology & Behavior 02/2015; 142C:57-65. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.005 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    • "These results may represent direct evidence that selective suppression of spinal astroglial gap junction can alleviate neuropathic mechanical hypersensitivity. Previous studies have shown that Cx43 is upregulated in the trigeminal ganglia after trigeminal nerve injury and in trigeminal nucleus after tooth pulp inflammation [26] [27] [28]. It was postulated that upregulation of Cx43 may increase the formation of new gap junction connections and hence increase membrane permeability. "
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of spinal astrocytes may contribute to neuropathic pain. Adjacent astrocytes can make direct communication through gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) in the central nervous system. Yet, the role of spinal astroglial gap junctions in neuropathic pain is not fully understood. Since Cx43 is the connexin isoform expressed preferentially in astrocytes in the spinal cord, we used a small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach to examine whether suppression of spinal Cx43 expression inhibits mechanical hypersensitivity in rats after an L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL). SNL rats were administered intrathecal Cx43 siRNA (3μg/15μl, twice/day) or an equal amount of mismatch siRNA (control) on days 14 through17 post-SNL. Cx43 siRNA, but not mismatch siRNA, alleviated mechanical hypersensitivity in SNL rats. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that the pain inhibition induced by Cx43 siRNA correlated with downregulation of Cx43 expression, but not that of Cx36 (the neuronal gap junction protein) or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, a marker for reactive astrocytes) in the spinal cord of SNL rats. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry also showed that SNL increased GFAP expression, but decreased Cx43 expression, in spinal cord. Our results provide direct evidence that selective suppression of spinal Cx43 after nerve injury alleviates neuropathic mechanical hypersensitivity. These findings suggest that in the spinal cord, the enhanced function of astroglial gap junctions, especially those formed by Cx43, may be important to neuropathic pain in SNL rats.
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