Nerve growth factor/p38 signaling increases intraepidermal nerve fiber densities in painful neuropathy of type 2 diabetes

Department of Neurology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.
Neurobiology of Disease (Impact Factor: 5.08). 08/2011; 45(1):280-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2011.08.011
Source: PubMed


Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is a common, yet devastating complication of type 2 diabetes. At this time, there is no objective test for diagnosing PDN. In the current study, we measured the peptidergic intraepidermal nerve fiber densities (IENFD) from hind paws of the db/db mouse, an animal model for type 2 diabetes, during the period of mechanical allodynia from 6 to 12 weeks of age. Intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF) of the hind footpads were identified by protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 immunohistochemistry. The peptidergic IENF were determined by double immunofluorescence using anti-PGP9.5 and antibodies against tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) A. We observed a significant increase in PGP9.5-positive IENFD at 8 and 10 weeks of age. Similarly, Trk A-positive peptidergic IENF, which also express substance P and calcitonin gene related peptide in db/db mice, were observed to be elevated from 1.5 to 2 fold over controls. This upregulation ended at 16 weeks of age, in accordance with the reduction of mechanical allodynia. Anti-NGF treatment significantly inhibited the upregulation of peptidergic IENFD during the period of mechanical allodynia, suggesting that increased neurotrophism may mediate this phenomenon. In addition, SB203580, an inhibitor of p38, blocked the increase in peptidergic IENFD in db/db mice. The current results suggest that peptidergic IENFD could be a potential diagnostic indicator for PDN in type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the inhibition of NGF-p38 signaling could be a potential therapeutic strategy for treating this painful condition.

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    • "For example, variability in NGF levels is associated with atherosclerosis and hence cardiovascular disease and also metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity [29] [30]. Specifically, NGF levels are decreased in atherosclerotic coronary vascular tissue and a decrease in plasma NGF could be detected in metabolic syndrome patients [31]. NGF deficits are the main cause of these diseases mentioned above, so, to some extent, supply of NGF to the target region may reverse the pathology of the diseases or alleviate the symptoms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroprotective therapies which focus on factors leading to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) degeneration have been drawing more and more attention. The beneficial effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) on the glaucoma have been recently suggested, but its effects on eye tissue are complex and controversial in various studies. Recent clinical trials of systemically and topically administrated NGF demonstrate that NGF is effective in treating several ocular diseases, including glaucoma. NGF has two receptors named high affinity NGF tyrosine kinase receptor TrkA and low affinity receptor p75NTR. Both receptors exist in cells in retina like RGC (expressing TrkA) and glia cells (expressing p75NTR). NGF functions by binding to TrkA or p75NTR alone or both together. The binding of NGF to TrkA alone in RGC promotes RGC's survival and proliferation through activation of TrkA and several prosurvival pathways. In contrast, the binding of NGF to p75NTR leads to apoptosis although it also promotes survival in some cases. Binding of NGF to both TrkA and p75NTR at the same time leads to survival in which p75NTR functions as a TrkA helping receptor. This review discusses the current understanding of the NGF signaling in retina and the therapeutic implications in the treatment of glaucoma.
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    • "The current results suggest that p38 is an essential mediator for LC-mediated immunoreaction in PDN of type 2 diabetes. Previously, we reported that intrathecal SB203580 treatment reduced mechanical allodynia [17] and the upregulation of IENF densities in db/db mice [43]. Since SB203580 was administered intrathecally, we can conclude that p38 activation in the nervous system contributes to LC aggregation in the skin. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Langerhans cells (LCs) are antigen-presenting dendritic cells located in the skin. It has been reported that LC activation is associated with painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN); however, the mechanism of LC activation is still unclear. Methods The db/db mouse, a rodent model of PDN, was used to study the roles of LCs in the development of PDN in type 2 diabetes. Hind foot pads from db/db and control db/+ mice from 5 to 24 weeks of age (encompassing the period of mechanical allodynia development and its abatement) were collected and processed for immunohistochemistry studies. LCs were identified with immunohistochemistry using an antibody against CD207 (Langerin). The intraepidermal nerve fibers and subepidermal nerve plexus were identified by immunohistochemistry of protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) and tropomyosin-receptor kinase (Trk) A, the high affinity nerve growth factor receptor. Results CD207-positive LCs increased in the db/db mouse during the period of mechanical allodynia, from 8 to 10 weeks of age, in both the epidermis and subepidermal plexus. At 16 weeks of age, when mechanical allodynia diminishes, LC populations were reduced in the epidermis and subepidermal plexus. Epidermal LCs (ELCs) were positive for Trk A. Subepidermal LCs (SLCs) were positive for CD68, suggesting that they are immature LCs. Additionally, these SLCs were positive for the receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and were in direct contact with TNF-α-positive nerve fibers in the subepidermal nerve plexus during the period of mechanical allodynia. Intrathecal administration of SB203580, a p38 kinase inhibitor, significantly reduced mechanical allodynia, TNF-α expression in the subepidermal plexus, and increased both ELC and SLC populations during the period of mechanical allodynia. Conclusions Our data support the hypothesis that increased LC populations in PDN are activated by p38-dependent neurogenic factors and may be involved in the pathogenesis of PDN.
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