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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Mar 2019 - 5 Apr 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Mar 27


Interleukin 6 decreases nociceptor expression of the potassium channel KV1.4 in a rat model of hand-arm vibration syndrome.


Chronic muscle pain is a prominent symptom of the hand-arm vibration syndrome, an occupational disease induced by exposure to vibrating power tools, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that vibration induces an interleukin 6 (IL-6) mediated down-regulation of the potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily A member 4 (KV1.4) in nociceptors leading to muscle pain. Adult male rats were submitted to a protocol of mechanical vibration of the right hind limb. Twenty-four hours after vibration muscle hyperalgesia was observed, concomitant to increased levels of IL-6 in the gastrocnemius muscle and decreased expression of KV1.4 in the dorsal root ganglia. Local injection of neutralizing antibodies against IL-6 attenuated the muscle hyperalgesia induced by vibration, whereas antisense knockdown of this channel in the dorsal root ganglia mimicked the muscle hyperalgesia observed in the model of hand-arm vibration syndrome. Finally, knockdown of the IL-6 receptor signaling subunit glycoprotein 130 (gp130) attenuated both vibration-induced muscle hyperalgesia and down-regulation of KV1.4. These results support the hypothesis that IL-6 plays a central role in the induction of muscle pain in the hand-arm vibration syndrome. This likely occurs through intracellular signaling downstream to the IL-6 receptor subunit gp130, which decreases the expression of KV1.4 in nociceptors.