Role of JNK isoforms in the development of neuropathic pain following sciatic nerve transection in the mouse

Department of Neuroscience, Neuroscience Institute of Turin (NIT), University of Turin, I-10125, Turin, Italy. .
Molecular Pain (Impact Factor: 3.65). 05/2012; 8(1):39. DOI: 10.1186/1744-8069-8-39
Source: PubMed


Current tools for analgesia are often only partially successful, thus investigations of new targets for pain therapy stimulate great interest. Consequent to peripheral nerve injury, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity in cells of the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord is involved in triggering neuropathic pain. However, the relative contribution of distinct JNK isoforms is unclear. Using knockout mice for single isoforms, and blockade of JNK activity by a peptide inhibitor, we have used behavioral tests to analyze the contribution of JNK in the development of neuropathic pain after unilateral sciatic nerve transection. In addition, immunohistochemical labelling for the growth associated protein (GAP)-43 and Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP) in DRGs was used to relate injury related compensatory growth to altered sensory function.
Peripheral nerve injury produced pain-related behavior on the ipsilateral hindpaw, accompanied by an increase in the percentage of GAP43-immunoreactive (IR) neurons and a decrease in the percentage of CGRP-IR neurons in the lumbar DRGs. The JNK inhibitor, D-JNKI-1, successfully modulated the effects of the sciatic nerve transection. The onset of neuropathic pain was not prevented by the deletion of a single JNK isoform, leading us to conclude that all JNK isoforms collectively contribute to maintain neuropathy. Autotomy behavior, typically induced by sciatic nerve axotomy, was absent in both the JNK1 and JNK3 knockout mice.
JNK signaling plays an important role in regulating pain threshold: the inhibition of all of the JNK isoforms prevents the onset of neuropathic pain, while the deletion of a single splice JNK isoform mitigates established sensory abnormalities. JNK inactivation also has an effect on axonal sprouting following peripheral nerve injury.

Download full-text


Available from: Giusi Manassero
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We determined the role of carboxyl-terminal regulation of NOPR (nociceptin, orphanin FQ receptor) signaling and function. We mutated C-terminal serine and threonine residues and examined their role in NOPR trafficking, homologous desensitization, and arrestin-dependent MAPK signaling. The NOPR agonist, nociceptin, caused robust NOPR-YFP receptor internalization, peaking at 30 minutes. Mutation of serine 337, 346, and 351, had no effect on NOPR internalization. However, mutation of C-terminal threonine 362, serine 363, and threonine 365 blocked nociceptin-induced internalization of NOPR. Furthermore, point mutation of only S363A was sufficient to block NOPR internalization. Homologous desensitization of NOPR-mediated calcium channel blockade and inhibition of cAMP were also shown to require S363. Additionally, NOPR-internalization was absent when GRK3, and Arrestin3 were knocked down using siRNA, but not when GRK2 and Arrestin2 were knocked down. We also found that nociceptin-induced NOPR-mediated JNK but not ERK signaling requires S363, GRK3, and Arrestin3. Dominant positive Arrestin3 but not Arrestin2 was sufficient to rescue NOPR-S363A internalization and JNK signaling. These findings suggest that NOPR function may be regulated by GRK3 phosphorylation of S363 and Arrestin3 interactions and further demonstrates the complex nature of G-protein dependent and independent signaling in opioid receptors.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 3-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-6-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-cycloastragenol (astragaloside IV), the main active component of the traditional Chinese medicine astragalus membranaceus, has been shown to be neuroprotective. This study investigated whether astragaloside IV could promote the repair of injured sciatic nerve. Denervated sciatic nerve of mice was subjected to anastomosis. The mice were intraperitoneally injected with 10, 5, 2.5 mg/kg astragaloside IV per day for 8 consecutive days. Western blot assay and real-time PCR results demonstrated that growth-associated protein-43 expression was upregulated in mouse spinal cord segments L4-6 after intervention with 10, 5, 2.5 mg/kg astragaloside IV per day in a dose-dependent manner. Luxol fast blue staining and electrophysiological detection suggested that astragaloside IV elevated the number and diameter of myelinated nerve fibers, and simultaneously increased motor nerve conduction velocity and action potential amplitude in the sciatic nerve of mice. These results indicated that astragaloside IV contributed to sciatic nerve regeneration and functional recovery in mice. The mechanism underlying this effect may be associated with the upregulation of growth-associated protein-43 expression.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Neural Regeneration Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It has been over 20 years since JUN amino-terminal kinases (JNKs) were identified as protein kinases that are strongly activated by cellular stress and that have a key role in apoptosis. Examination of Jnk-knockout mice and characterization of JNK behaviour in neuronal cells has further revealed the importance of the JNK family in the nervous system. As well as regulating neuronal death, JNKs govern brain morphogenesis and axodendritic architecture during development, and regulate important neuron-specific functions such as synaptic plasticity and memory formation. This Review examines the evidence that the spatial segregation of JNKs in neurons underlies their distinct functions and that compartment-specific targeting of JNKs may offer promising new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of diseases of the nervous system, such as stroke and neurodegenerative disorders.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Nature Reviews Neuroscience
Show more