[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that the suppressive modulators released from nociceptive afferent neurons contribute to pain regulation. However, the suppressive modulators expressed in small-diameter neurons of the dorsal root ganglion remain to be further identified. The present study shows that the activin C expressed in small dorsal root ganglion neurons is required for suppressing inflammation-induced nociceptive responses. The expression of activin C in small dorsal root ganglion neurons of rats was markedly downregulated during the early days of peripheral inflammation induced by intraplantar injection of the complete Freund's adjuvant. Intrathecal treatment with the small interfering RNA targeting activin βC or the antibodies against activin C could enhance the formalin-induced nociceptive responses, and impair the recovery from the complete Freund's adjuvant-induced thermal hyperalgesia. Intrathecally applied activin C could reduce nociceptive responses induced by formalin or complete Freund's adjuvant. Moreover, activin C was found to inhibit the inflammation-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the dorsal root ganglia and the dorsal spinal cord. Thus, activin C functions as an endogenous suppressor of inflammatory nociceptive transmission and may have a therapeutic potential for treatment of inflammatory pain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been known to be secreted from cardiac myocytes and activate its receptor, natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPR-A), to reduce ventricular fibrosis. However, the function of BNP/NPR-A pathway in the somatic sensory system has been unknown. In the present study, we report a novel function of BNP in pain modulation. Using microarray and immunoblot analyses, we found that BNP and NPR-A were expressed in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of rats and upregulated after intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Immunohistochemistry showed that BNP was expressed in calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-containing small neurons and IB4 (isolectin B4)-positive neurons, whereas NPR-A was present in CGRP-containing neurons. Application of BNP reduced the firing frequency of small DRG neurons in the presence of glutamate through opening large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (BKCa channels). Furthermore, intrathecal injection of BNP yielded inhibitory effects on formalin-induced flinching behavior and CFA-induced thermal hyperalgesia in rats. Blockade of BNP signaling by BNP antibodies or cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) inhibitor KT5823 [(9S,10R,12R)-2,3,9,10,11,12-hexahydro-10-methoxy-2,9-dimethyl-1-oxo-9,12-epoxy-1H-diindolo[1,2,3-fg:3',2',1'-kl]pyrrolo[3,4-i][1,6]benzodiazocine-10-carboxylic acid methyl ester] impaired the recovery from CFA-induced thermal hyperalgesia. Thus, BNP negatively regulates nociceptive transmission through presynaptic receptor NPR-A, and activation of the BNP/NPR-A/PKG/BKCa channel pathway in nociceptive afferent neurons could be a potential strategy for inflammatory pain therapy.
Journal of Neuroscience 08/2010; 30(32):10927-38. · 6.91 Impact Factor