Calcium calmodulin-stimulated adenylyl cyclases contribute to activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in spinal dorsal horn neurons in adult rats and mice.
ABSTRACT The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) cascades are suggested to contribute to excitatory synaptic plasticity in the CNS, including the spinal cord dorsal horn. However, many of their upstream signaling pathways remain to be investigated. Here, we demonstrate that glutamate and substance P (SP), two principal mediators of sensory information between primary afferent fibers and the spinal cord, activate Erk in dorsal horn neurons of both adult rat and mouse spinal cord. In genetic knock-out mice of calcium calmodulin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase subtypes 1 (AC1) and 8 (AC8), activation of Erk in dorsal horn neurons were significantly reduced or blocked, either after peripheral tissue inflammation or by glutamate or SP in spinal cord slices. Our studies suggest that AC1 and AC8 act upstream from Erk activation in spinal dorsal horn neurons and the calcium-AC1/AC8-dependent Erk signaling pathways may contribute to spinal sensitization, an underlying mechanism for the development of persistent pain after injury.
Article: A role of periaqueductal grey NR2B-containing NMDA receptor in mediating persistent inflammatory pain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG) is a structure known for its roles in pain transmission and modulation. Noxious stimuli potentiate the glutamate synaptic transmission and enhance glutamate NMDA receptor expression in the PAG. However, little is known about roles of NMDA receptor subunits in the PAG in processing the persistent inflammatory pain. The present study was undertaken to investigate NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA receptors in the PAG and their modulation to the peripheral painful inflammation. Noxious stimuli induced by hind-paw injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) caused up-regulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors in the PAG, while NR2A-containing NMDA receptors were not altered. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that NMDA receptor mediated mEPSCs were increased significantly in the PAG synapse during the chronic phases of inflammatory pain in mice. PAG local infusion of Ro 25-6981, an NR2B antagonist, notably prolonged the paw withdrawal latency to thermal radian heat stimuli bilaterally in rats. Hyperoside (Hyp), one of the flavonoids compound isolated from Rhododendron ponticum L., significantly reversed up-regulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors in the PAG and exhibited analgesic activities against persistent inflammatory stimuli in mice. Our findings provide strong evidence that up-regulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors in the PAG involves in the modulation to the peripheral persistent inflammatory pain.Molecular Pain 12/2009; 5:71. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Analgesics, including opioids and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs reduce postoperative pain. However, little is known about the quantitative effects of these drugs on cortical activity induced by nociceptive stimulation. The aim of the present study was to determine the neural activity in response to a nociceptive stimulus and to investigate the effects of fentanyl (an opioid agonist) and parecoxib (a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor) on this nociception-induced cortical activity evoked by tail pinch. Extracellular recordings (electroencephalogram and multi-unit signals) were performed in the area of the anterior cingulate cortex while intracellular recordings were made in the primary somatosensory cortex. The effects of parecoxib and fentanyl on induced cortical activity were compared. Peripheral nociceptive stimulation in anesthetized rats produced an immediate electroencephalogram (EEG) desynchronization resembling the cortical arousal (low-amplitude, fast-wave activity), while the membrane potential switched into a persistent depolarization state. The induced cortical activity was abolished by fentanyl, and the fentanyl's effect was reversed by the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone. Parecoxib, on the other hand, did not significantly affect the neural activity. Cortical activity was modulated by nociceptive stimulation in anesthetized rats. Fentanyl showed a strong inhibitory effect on the nociceptive-stimulus induced cortical activity while parecoxib had no significant effect.Molecular Pain 01/2010; 6:3. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neuropathic pain is generally defined as a chronic pain state resulting from peripheral and/or central nerve injury. Effective treatment for neuropathic pain is still lacking, due in part to poor understanding of pathological mechanisms at the molecular level. Neuronal mechanisms of neuropathic pain, especially synaptic plasticity, are the major focus of many investigators. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor dependent synaptic plasticity at the spinal and cortical levels is believed to contribute to enhanced sensory responses after injury. Glial cells, including astrocytes and microglia, have recently been implicated in neuropathic pain. These glial cells form close interactions with neurons and thus may modulate nociceptive transmission under pathological conditions. In this review, we present recent progress in the study of neuronal and microglial mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. We propose that activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is a key target for treatment in neuropathic pain.Molecular Brain 07/2011; 4:31.