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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Sep 2019 - 13 Sep 2019

Animal Studies

2019 09 10

Int J Oral Sci



Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases in satellite glial cells of the trigeminal ganglion contributes to substance P-mediated inflammatory pain.


Zhang Y, Song N, Liu F, Lin J, Liu M, Huang C, Liao D, Zhou C, Wang H, Shen J
Int J Oral Sci. 2019 09 10; 11(3):24.
PMID: 31501412.


Inflammatory orofacial pain, in which substance P (SP) plays an important role, is closely related to the cross-talk between trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons and satellite glial cells (SGCs). SGC activation is emerging as the key mechanism underlying inflammatory pain through different signalling mechanisms, including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) activation, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways, and cytokine upregulation. However, in the TG, the mechanism underlying SP-mediated orofacial pain generated by SGCs is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated whether SP is involved in inflammatory orofacial pain by upregulating interleukin (IL)-1β and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α from SGCs, and we explored whether MAPK signalling pathways mediate the pain process. In the present study, complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) was injected into the whisker pad of rats to induce an inflammatory model in vivo. SP was administered to SGC cultures in vitro to confirm the effect of SP. Facial expression analysis showed that pre-injection of L703,606 (an NK-1 receptor antagonist), U0126 (an inhibitor of MAPK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK] kinase [MEK] 1/2), and SB203580 (an inhibitor of P38) into the TG to induce targeted prevention of the activation of the NK-1 receptor and the phosphorylation of MAPKs significantly suppressed CFA-induced inflammatory allodynia. In addition, SP promoted SGC activation, which was proven by increased GFAP, p-MAPKs, IL-1β and TNF-α in SGCs under inflammatory conditions. Moreover, the increase in IL-1β and TNF-α was suppressed by L703, 606, U0126 and SB203580 in vivo and in vitro. These present findings suggested that SP, released from TG neurons, activated SGCs through the ERK1/2 and P38 pathways and promoted the production of IL-1β and TNF-α from SGCs, contributing to inflammatory orofacial pain associated with peripheral sensitization.