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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Jan 2019 - 25 Jan 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Aug

Mol Neurobiol



Non-Peptidergic Nociceptive Neurons Are Essential for Mechanical Inflammatory Hypersensitivity in Mice.


Pinto LG, Souza GR, Kusuda R, Lopes AH, Sant'Anna MB, Cunha FQ, Ferreira SH, Cunha TM
Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Aug; 56(8):5715-5728.
PMID: 30674034.


Small nerve fibers that bind the isolectin B4 (IB4 C-fibers) are a subpopulation of primary afferent neurons that are involved in nociceptive sensory transduction and do not express the neuropeptides substance P and calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP). Several studies have attempted to elucidate the functional role of IB4-nociceptors in different models of pain. However, a functional characterization of the non-peptidergic nociceptors in mediating mechanical inflammatory hypersensitivity in mice is still lacking. To this end, in the present study, the neurotoxin IB4-Saporin (IB4-Sap) was employed to ablate non-peptidergic C-fibers. Firstly, we showed that intrathecal (i.t.) administration of IB4-Sap in mice depleted non-peptidergic C-fibers, since it decreased the expression of purinoceptor 3 (P2X) and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) in the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) as well as IB4 labelling in the spinal cord. Non-peptidergic C-fibers depletion did not alter the mechanical nociceptive threshold, but it inhibited the mechanical inflammatory hypersensitivity induced by glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), but not nerve growth factor (NGF). Depletion of non-peptidergic C-fibers abrogated mechanical inflammatory hypersensitivity induced by carrageenan. Finally, it was found that the inflammatory mediators PGE and epinephrine produced a mechanical inflammatory hypersensitivity that was also blocked by depletion of non-peptidergic C-fibers. These data suggest that IB4-positive nociceptive nerve fibers are not involved in normal mechanical nociception but are sensitised by inflammatory stimuli and play a crucial role in mediating mechanical inflammatory hypersensitivity.