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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Jan 2019 - 1 Feb 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 May

Brain Behav Immun


Stimulation of nuclear receptor REV-ERBs suppresses production of pronociceptive molecules in cultured spinal astrocytes and ameliorates mechanical hypersensitivity of inflammatory and neuropathic pain of mice.


Morioka N, Kodama K, Tomori M, Yoshikawa K, Saeki M, Nakamura Y, Zhang F F, Hisaoka-Nakashima K, Nakata Y
Brain Behav Immun. 2019 May; 78:116-130.
PMID: 30682503.


The orphan nuclear receptors REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ (REV-ERBs) are crucial in the regulation of inflammatory-related gene transcription in astroglioma cells, but their role in nociceptive transduction has yet to be elaborated. Spinal dorsal horn astrocytes contribute to the maintenance of chronic pain. Treatment of cultured spinal astrocytes with specific REV-ERBs agonists SR9009 or GSK4112 significantly prevented lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mRNA upregulation of pronociceptive molecules interleukin-1β (IL-1β) mRNA, interleukin-6 (IL-6) mRNA and matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) mRNA, but not CCL2 mRNA expression. Treatment with SR9009 also blocked tumor necrosis factor-induced IL-1β mRNA, IL-6 mRNA and MMP-9 mRNA. In addition, treatment with SR9009 significantly blocked LPS-induced upregulation of IL-1β protein, IL-6 protein and MMP-9 activity. The inhibitory effects of SR9009 on LPS-induced expression of pronociceptive molecules were blocked by knockdown of REV-ERBs expression with short interference RNA, confirming that SR9009 exerts its effect through REV-ERBs. Intrathecal LPS treatment in male mice induces hind paw mechanical hypersensitivity, and upregulation of IL-1β mRNA, IL-6 mRNA and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in spinal dorsal horn. Intrathecal pretreatment of SR9009 prevented the onset of LPS-induced mechanical hypersensitivity, cytokine expression and GFAP expression. Intrathecal injection of SR9009 also ameliorated mechanical hypersensitivity during the maintenance phase of complete Freund's adjuvant-induced inflammatory pain and partial sciatic nerve ligation-, paclitaxel-, and streptozotocin-induced neuropathy in mice. The current findings suggest that spinal astrocytic REV-ERBs could be critical in the regulation of nociceptive transduction through downregulation of pronociceptive molecule expression. Thus, spinal REV-ERBs could be an effective therapeutic target in the treatment of chronic pain.