- Inter-strain differences of serotonergic inhibitory pain control in inbred mice (2010)
- Background: Descending inhibitory pain control contributes to the endogenous defense against chronic pain and involves noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. The clinical efficacy of antidepressants suggests that serotonin may be particularly relevant for neuropathic pain conditions. Serotonergic signaling is regulated by synthesis, metabolisms, reuptake and receptors. To address the complexity, we used inbred mouse strains, C57BL/6J, 129 Sv, DBA/2J and Balb/c, which differ in brain serotonin levels. Results: Serotonin analysis after nerve injury revealed inter-strain differences in the adaptation of descending serotonergic fibers. Upregulation of spinal cord and midbrain serotonin was apparent only in 129 Sv mice and was associated with attenuated nerve injury evoked hyperalgesia and allodynia in this strain. The increase of dorsal horn serotonin was blocked by hemisectioning of descending fibers but not by rhizotomy of primary afferents indicating a midbrain source. Para-chlorophenylalanine-mediated serotonin depletion in spinal cord and midbrain intensified pain hypersensitivity in the nerve injury model. In contrast, chronic inflammation of the hindpaw did not evoke equivalent changes in serotonin levels in the spinal cord and midbrain and nociceptive thresholds dropped in a parallel manner in all strains. Conclusion: The results suggest that chronic nerve injury evoked hypernociception may be contributed by genetic differences of descending serotonergic inhibitory control.
- Progranulin contributes to endogenous mechanisms of pain defense after nerve injury in mice (2012)
- Progranulin haploinsufficiency is associated with frontotemporal dementia in humans. Deficiency of progranulin led to exaggerated inflammation and premature aging in mice. The role of progranulin in adaptations to nerve injury and neuropathic pain are still unknown. Here we found that progranulin is up-regulated after injury of the sciatic nerve in the mouse ipsilateral dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord, most prominently in the microglia surrounding injured motor neurons. Progranulin knockdown by continuous intrathecal spinal delivery of small interfering RNA after sciatic nerve injury intensified neuropathic pain-like behaviour and delayed the recovery of motor functions. Compared to wild-type mice, progranulin-deficient mice developed more intense nociceptive hypersensitivity after nerve injury. The differences escalated with aging. Knockdown of progranulin reduced the survival of dissociated primary neurons and neurite outgrowth, whereas addition of recombinant progranulin rescued primary dorsal root ganglia neurons from cell death induced by nerve growth factor withdrawal. Thus, up-regulation of progranulin after neuronal injury may reduce neuropathic pain and help motor function recovery, at least in part, by promoting survival of injured neurons and supporting regrowth. A deficiency in this mechanism may increase the risk for injury-associated chronic pain.
- Learning and memory with neuropathic pain: impact of old age and progranulin deficiency (2013)
- Persistent neuropathic pain is a frequent consequence of peripheral nerve injuries, particularly in the elderly. Using the IntelliCage we studied if sciatic nerve injury obstructed learning and memory in young and aged mice, each in wild type and progranulin deficient mice, which develop premature signs of brain aging. Both young and aged mice developed long-term nerve injury-evoked hyperalgesia and allodynia. In both genotypes, aged mice with neuropathic pain showed high error rates in place avoidance acquisition tasks. However, once learnt, these aged mice with neuropathic pain showed a significantly stronger maintenance of the aversive memory. Nerve injury did not affect place preference behavior in neither genotype, neither in young nor aged mice. However, nerve injury in progranulin deficient mice impaired the learning of spatial sequences of awarded places, particularly in the aged mice. This task required a discrimination of clockwise and anti-clockwise sequences. The chaining failure occurred only in progranulin deficient mice after nerve injury, but not in sham operated or wildtype mice, suggesting that progranulin was particularly important for compensatory adaptations after nerve injury. In contrast, all aged mice with neuropathic pain, irrespective of the genotype, had a long maintenance of aversive memory suggesting a negative alliance and possibly mutual aggravation of chronic neuropathic pain and aversive memory at old age.