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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Astrocyte D-serine modulates the activation of neuronal NOS leading to the development of mechanical allodynia in peripheral neuropathy.


Choi S-R, Roh D-H, Yoon S-Y, Choi H-S, Kang S-Y, Han H-J, Beitz AJ, Lee J-H
Mol Pain. 2019 Jan-Dec; 15:1744806919843046.
PMID: 30900515.


Spinal D-serine plays an important role in nociception via an increase in phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor GluN1 subunit (pGluN1). However, the cellular mechanisms underlying this process have not been elucidated. Here we investigate the possible role of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the D-serine-induced potentiation of NMDA receptor function and the induction of neuropathic pain in a chronic constriction injury (CCI) model. Intrathecal administration of the serine racemase inhibitor, LSOS or the D-serine degrading enzyme, DAAO on post-operative days 0-3 significantly reduced the CCI-induced increase in NO levels and NADPH-diaphorase staining in lumbar dorsal horn neurons, as well as the CCI-induced decrease in phosphorylation (Ser847) of nNOS (pnNOS) on day 3 post-CCI surgery. LSOS or DAAO administration suppressed the CCI-induced development of mechanical allodynia and PKC-dependent (Ser896) phosphorylation of GluN1 on day 3 post-surgery, which were reversed by the co-administration of the NO donor, SIN-1. In naïve mice, exogenouse D-serine increased NO levels via decreases in pnNOS. D-serine-induced increases in mechnical hypersensitivity, NO levels, PKC-dependent pGluN1, and NMDA-induced spontaneous nociception were reduced by pretreatment with the nNOS inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole or with the NMDA receptor antagonists, 7-chlorokynurenic acid and MK-801. Collectively we show that spinal D-serine modulates nNOS activity and concomitant NO production leading to increases in PKC-dependent pGluN1, and ultimately contributing to the induction of mechanical allodynia following peripheral nerve injury.