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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2019 - 17 May 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Sep




Cathepsin E in neutrophils contributes to the generation of neuropathic pain in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.


Harada Y, Zhang J, Imari K, Yamasaki R, Ni J, Wu Z, Yamamoto K, Kira J-I, Nakanishi H, Hayashi Y
Pain. 2019 Sep; 160(9):2050-2062.
PMID: 31095099.


Pain is a frequent and disabling symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; however, the underlying mechanisms of MS-related pain is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrated that cathepsin E (CatE) in neutrophils contributes to the generation of mechanical allodynia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. We showed that CatE-deficient (CatE) mice were highly resistant to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG35-55)-induced mechanical allodynia. After MOG35-55 immunization, neutrophils immediately accumulated in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Adoptive transfer of MOG35-55-stimulated wild-type neutrophils into the DRG induced mechanical allodynia in the recipient C57BL/6 mice. On the other hand, the pain threshold did not change when MOG35-55-stimulated CatE neutrophils were transferred into the recipient C57BL/6 mice. MOG35-55 stimulation caused CatE-dependent secretion of elastase in neutrophils. Behavioral analyses revealed that sivelestat, a selective neutrophil elastase inhibitor, suppressed mechanical allodynia induced by adoptively transferred MOG35-55-stimulated neutrophils. MOG35-55 directly bound to toll-like receptor 4, which led to increased production of CatE in neutrophils. Our findings suggest that inhibition of CatE-dependent elastase production in neutrophil might be a potential therapeutic target for pain in MS patients.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.