Year of publication
- The role of cGMP and PKG-I in spinal nociceptive processing (2005)
- First paragraph (this article has no abstract) Persistent stimulation of nociceptors results in sensitization of nociceptive sensory neurons, which is associated with hyperalgesia and allodynia. The release of NO and subsequent synthesis of cGMP in the spinal cord are involved in this process. cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (PKG-I) has been suggested to act as a downstream target of cGMP, but its exact role in nociception hadn't been characterized yet. To further evaluate the NO/cGMP/PKG-I pathway in nociception we assessed the effects of PKG-I inhibiton and activaton in the rat formalin assay and analyzed the nociceptive behavior of PKG-I-/- mice. Open access article.
- Synthesis of lipid mediators during UVB-induced inflammatory hyperalgesia in rats and mice (2013)
- Peripheral sensitization during inflammatory pain is mediated by a variety of endogenous proalgesic mediators including a number of oxidized lipids, some of which serve endogenous modulators of sensory TRP-channels. These lipids are eicosanoids of the arachidonic acid and linoleic acid pathway, as well as lysophophatidic acids (LPAs). However, their regulation pattern during inflammatory pain and their contribution to peripheral sensitization is still unclear. Here, we used the UVB-model for inflammatory pain to investigate alterations of lipid concentrations at the site of inflammation, the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) as well as the spinal dorsal horn and quantified 21 lipid species from five different lipid families at the peak of inflammation 48 hours post irradiation. We found that known proinflammatory lipids as well as lipids with unknown roles in inflammatory pain to be strongly increased in the skin, whereas surprisingly little changes of lipid levels were seen in DRGs or the dorsal horn. Importantly, although there are profound differences between the number of cytochrome (CYP) genes between mice and rats, CYP-derived lipids were regulated similarly in both species. Since TRPV1 agonists such as LPA 18:1, 9- and 13-HODE, 5- and 12-HETE were elevated in the skin, they may contribute to thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia during UVB-induced inflammatory pain. These results may explain why some studies show relatively weak analgesic effects of cyclooxygenase inhibitors in UVB-induced skin inflammation, as they do not inhibit synthesis of other proalgesic lipids such as LPA 18:1, 9-and 13-HODE and HETEs.
- Soluble epoxide hydrolase limits mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation (2011)
- Background Cytochrome-P450 (CYP450) epoxygenases metabolise arachidonic acid (AA) into four different biologically active epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) regioisomers. Three of the EETs (i.e., 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET) are rapidly hydrolysed by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). Here, we investigated the role of sEH in nociceptive processing during peripheral inflammation. Results In dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we found that sEH is expressed in medium and large diameter neurofilament 200-positive neurons. Isolated DRG-neurons from sEH-/- mice showed higher EET and lower DHET levels. Upon AA stimulation, the largest changes in EET levels occurred in culture media, indicating both that cell associated EET concentrations quickly reach saturation and EET-hydrolyzing activity mostly effects extracellular EET signaling. In vivo, DRGs from sEH-deficient mice exhibited elevated 8,9-, 11,12- and 14,15-EET-levels. Interestingly, EET levels did not increase at the site of zymosan-induced inflammation. Cellular imaging experiments revealed direct calcium flux responses to 8,9-EET in a subpopulation of nociceptors. In addition, 8,9-EET sensitized AITC-induced calcium increases in DRG neurons and AITC-induced calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) release from sciatic nerve axons, indicating that 8,9-EET sensitizes TRPA1-expressing neurons, which are known to contribute to mechanical hyperalgesia. Supporting this, sEH-/- mice showed increased nociceptive responses to mechanical stimulation during zymosan-induced inflammation and 8,9-EET injection reduced mechanical thresholds in naive mice. Conclusion Our results show that the sEH can regulate mechanical hyperalgesia during inflammation by inactivating 8,9-EET, which sensitizes TRPA1-expressing nociceptors. Therefore we suggest that influencing the CYP450 pathway, which is actually highly considered to treat cardiovascular diseases, may cause pain side effects.
- Site-specific and time-dependent activation of the endocannabinoid system after transection of long-range projections (2012)
- Background: After focal neuronal injury the endocannabinioid system becomes activated and protects or harms neurons depending on cannabinoid derivates and receptor subtypes. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) play a central role in controlling local responses and influencing neural plasticity and survival. However, little is known about the functional relevance of eCBs in long-range projection damage as observed in stroke or spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods: In rat organotypic entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures (OHSC) as a relevant and suitable model for investigating projection fibers in the CNS we performed perforant pathway transection (PPT) and subsequently analyzed the spatial and temporal dynamics of eCB levels. This approach allows proper distinction of responses in originating neurons (entorhinal cortex), areas of deafferentiation/anterograde axonal degeneration (dentate gyrus) and putative changes in more distant but synaptically connected subfields (cornu ammonis (CA) 1 region). Results: Using LC-MS/MS, we measured a strong increase in arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA), oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) levels in the denervation zone (dentate gyrus) 24 hours post lesion (hpl), whereas entorhinal cortex and CA1 region exhibited little if any changes. NAPE-PLD, responsible for biosynthesis of eCBs, was increased early, whereas FAAH, a catabolizing enzyme, was up-regulated 48hpl. Conclusion: Neuronal damage as assessed by transection of long-range projections apparently provides a strong time-dependent and area-confined signal for de novo synthesis of eCB, presumably to restrict neuronal damage. The present data underlines the importance of activation of the eCB system in CNS pathologies and identifies a novel site-specific intrinsic regulation of eCBs after long-range projection damage.
- R-flurbiprofen reduces neuropathic pain in rodents by restoring endogenous cannabinoids (2010)
- Background: R-flurbiprofen, one of the enantiomers of flurbiprofen racemate, is inactive with respect to cyclooxygenase inhibition, but shows analgesic properties without relevant toxicity. Its mode of action is still unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings: We show that R-flurbiprofen reduces glutamate release in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord evoked by sciatic nerve injury and thereby alleviates pain in sciatic nerve injury models of neuropathic pain in rats and mice. This is mediated by restoring the balance of endocannabinoids (eCB), which is disturbed following peripheral nerve injury in the DRGs, spinal cord and forebrain. The imbalance results from transcriptional adaptations of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and NAPE-phospholipase D, i.e. the major enzymes involved in anandamide metabolism and synthesis, respectively. R-flurbiprofen inhibits FAAH activity and normalizes NAPE-PLD expression. As a consequence, R-Flurbiprofen improves endogenous cannabinoid mediated effects, indicated by the reduction of glutamate release, increased activity of the anti-inflammatory transcription factor PPAR gamma and attenuation of microglia activation. Antinociceptive effects are lost by combined inhibition of CB1 and CB2 receptors and partially abolished in CB1 receptor deficient mice. R-flurbiprofen does however not cause changes of core body temperature which is a typical indicator of central effects of cannabinoid-1 receptor agonists. Conclusion: Our results suggest that R-flurbiprofen improves the endogenous mechanisms to regain stability after axonal injury and to fend off chronic neuropathic pain by modulating the endocannabinoid system and thus constitutes an attractive, novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of chronic, intractable pain.
- Nerve injury evoked loss of latexin expression in spinal cord neurons contributes to the development of neuropathic pain (2011)
- Nerve injury leads to sensitization mechanisms in the peripheral and central nervous system which involve transcriptional and post-transcriptional modifications in sensory nerves. To assess protein regulations in the spinal cord after injury of the sciatic nerve in the Spared Nerve Injury model (SNI) we performed a proteomic analysis using 2D-difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) technology. Among approximately 2300 protein spots separated on each gel we detected 55 significantly regulated proteins after SNI whereof 41 were successfully identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Out of the proteins which were regulated in the DIGE analyses after SNI we focused on the carboxypeptidase A inhibitor latexin because protease dysfunctions contribute to the development of neuropathic pain. Latexin protein expression was reduced after SNI which could be confirmed by Western Blot analysis, quantitative RT-PCR and in-situ hybridisation. The decrease of latexin was associated with an increase of the activity of carboxypeptidase A indicating that the balance between latexin and carboxypeptidase A was impaired in the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury due to a loss of latexin expression in spinal cord neurons. This may contribute to the development of cold allodynia because normalization of neuronal latexin expression in the spinal cord by AAV-mediated latexin transduction or administration of a small molecule carboxypeptidase A inhibitor significantly reduced acetone-evoked nociceptive behavior after SNI. Our results show the usefulness of proteomics as a screening tool to identify novel mechanisms of nerve injury evoked hypernociception and suggest that carboxypeptidase A inhibition might be useful to reduce cold allodynia.
- Intrinsic up-regulation of 2-AG favors an area specific neuronal survival in different in vitro models of neuronal damage (2012)
- BACKGROUND: The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) acts as a retrograde messenger and modulates synaptic signaling e. g. in the hippocampus. 2-AG also exerts neuroprotective effects under pathological situations. To better understand the mechanism beyond physiological signaling we used Organotypic Entorhino-Hippocampal Slice Cultures (OHSC) and investigated the temporal regulation of 2-AG in different cell subsets during excitotoxic lesion and dendritic lesion of long range projections in the enthorhinal cortex (EC), dentate gyrus (DG) and the cornu ammonis region 1 (CA1). RESULTS: 2-AG levels were elevated 24 h after excitotoxic lesion in CA1 and DG (but not EC) and 24 h after perforant pathway transection (PPT) in the DG only. After PPT diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGL) protein, the synthesizing enzyme of 2-AG was decreased when Dagl mRNA expression and 2-AG levels were enhanced. In contrast to DAGL, the 2-AG hydrolyzing enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) showed no alterations in total protein and mRNA expression after PPT in OHSC. MAGL immunoreaction underwent a redistribution after PPT and excitotoxic lesion since MAGL IR disappeared in astrocytes of lesioned OHSC. DAGL and MAGL immunoreactions were not detectable in microglia at all investigated time points. Thus, induction of the neuroprotective endocannabinoid 2-AG might be generally accomplished by down-regulation of MAGL in astrocytes after neuronal lesions. CONCLUSION: Increase in 2-AG levels during secondary neuronal damage reflects a general neuroprotective mechanism since it occurred independently in both different lesion models. This intrinsic up-regulation of 2-AG is synergistically controlled by DAGL and MAGL in neurons and astrocytes and thus represents a protective system for neurons that is involved in dendritic reorganisation.
- Inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase promotes albuminuria in mice with progressive renal disease (2010)
- Epoxyeicotrienoic acids (EETs) are cytochrome P450-dependent anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory derivatives of arachidonic acid, which are highly abundant in the kidney and considered reno-protective. EETs are degraded by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and sEH inhibitors are considered treatment for chronic renal failure (CRF). We determined whether sEH inhibition attenuates the progression of CRF in the 5/6-nephrectomy model (5/6-Nx) in mice. 5/6-Nx mice were treated with a placebo, an ACE-inhibitor (Ramipril, 40 mg/kg), the sEH-inhibitor cAUCB or the CYP-inhibitor fenbendazole for 8 weeks. 5/6-Nx induced hypertension, albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial damage and these effects were attenuated by Ramipril. In contrast, cAUCB failed to lower the blood pressure and albuminuria was more severe as compared to placebo. Plasma EET-levels were doubled in 5/6 Nx-mice as compared to sham mice receiving placebo. Renal sEH expression was attenuated in 5/6-Nx mice but cAUCB in these animals still further increased the EET-level. cAUCB also increased 5-HETE and 15-HETE, which derive from peroxidation or lipoxygenases. Similar to cAUCB, CYP450 inhibition increased HETEs and promoted albuminuria. Thus, sEH-inhibition failed to elicit protective effects in the 5/6-Nx model and showed a tendency to aggravate the disease. These effects might be consequence of a shift of arachidonic acid metabolism into the lipoxygenase pathway.
- Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of skin and dorsal root Ganglia after ultraviolet-B-induced inflammation (2014)
- Ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced inflammation produces a dose-dependent mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in both humans and rats, most likely via inflammatory mediators acting at the site of injury. Previous work has shown that the gene expression of cytokines and chemokines is positively correlated between species and that these factors can contribute to UVB-induced pain. In order to investigate other potential pain mediators in this model we used RNA-seq to perform genome-wide transcriptional profiling in both human and rat skin at the peak of hyperalgesia. In addition we have also measured transcriptional changes in the L4 and L5 DRG of the rat model. Our data show that UVB irradiation produces a large number of transcriptional changes in the skin: 2186 and 3888 genes are significantly dysregulated in human and rat skin, respectively. The most highly up-regulated genes in human skin feature those encoding cytokines (IL6 and IL24), chemokines (CCL3, CCL20, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL3 and CXCL5), the prostanoid synthesising enzyme COX-2 and members of the keratin gene family. Overall there was a strong positive and significant correlation in gene expression between the human and rat (R = 0.8022). In contrast to the skin, only 39 genes were significantly dysregulated in the rat L4 and L5 DRGs, the majority of which had small fold change values. Amongst the most up-regulated genes in DRG were REG3B, CCL2 and VGF. Overall, our data shows that numerous genes were up-regulated in UVB irradiated skin at the peak of hyperalgesia in both human and rats. Many of the top up-regulated genes were cytokines and chemokines, highlighting again their potential as pain mediators. However many other genes were also up-regulated and might play a role in UVB-induced hyperalgesia. In addition, the strong gene expression correlation between species re-emphasises the value of the UVB model as translational tool to study inflammatory pain.
- Cysteine-rich protein 2 is a downstream effector of cGMP-dependent protein kinase I in nociception : poster presentation (2007)
- The experience of pain is mediated by a specialized sensory system, the nociceptive system. There is considerable evidence that the cGMP/cGMP kinase I (cGKI) signaling pathway modulates the nociceptive processing within the spinal cord. However, downstream targets of cGKI in this context have not been identified to date. In this study we investigated whether cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2) is a downstream effector of cGKI in the spinal cord and is involved in nociceptive processing. Immunohistochemistry of the mouse spinal cord revealed that CRP2 is expressed in superficial laminae of the dorsal horn. CRP2 is colocalized with cGKI and with markers of primary afferent C fibers. Importantly, the majority of CRP2 mRNA-positive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons express cGKI and CRP2 is phosphorylated in a cGMP-dependent manner. To elucidate the functional role of CRP2 in nociception, we investigated the nociceptive behavior of CRP2-deficient (CRP2-/-) mice. Touch perception and acute thermal nociception were unaltered in CRP2-/- mice. However, CRP2-/- mice showed an increased nociceptive behavior in models of persistent pain as compared to wild type mice. Intrathecal administration of cGKI activating cGMP analogs increased the nociceptive behavior in wild type but not in CRP2-/- mice, indicating that the presence of CRP2 was essential for cGMP/cGKI-mediated nociception. These data indicate that CRP2 is a new downstream effector of cGKI-mediated spinal nociceptive processing and point to an inhibitory role of CRP2 in the generation of inflammatory pain.