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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Mar 2020 - 13 Mar 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Jan 24


Neuropeptide Y tonically inhibits an NMDAR➔AC1➔TRPA1/TRPV1 mechanism of the affective dimension of chronic neuropathic pain.


Transection of the sural and common peroneal branches of the sciatic nerve produces cutaneous hypersensitivity at the tibial innervation territory of the mouse hindpaw that resolves within a few weeks. We report that interruption of endogenous neuropeptide Y (NPY) signaling during remission, with either conditional NPY knockdown in NPY mice or intrathecal administration of the Y1 receptor antagonist BIBO3304, reinstated hypersensitivity. These data indicate that nerve injury establishes a long-lasting latent sensitization of spinal nociceptive neurons that is masked by spinal NPY-Y1 neurotransmission. To determine whether this mechanism extends beyond the sensory component of nociception, we used conditioned place aversion and preference assays to evaluate the affective component of pain. We found that BIBO3304 produced place aversion in mice when administered during remission. Furthermore, the analgesic drug gabapentin produced place preference after NPY knockdown in NPY but not control mice. We then used pharmacological agents and deletion mutant mice to investigate the cellular mechanisms of neuropathic latent sensitization. BIBO3304-induced reinstatement of mechanical hypersensitivity and conditioned place aversion could be prevented with intrathecal administration of an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist (MK-801) and was absent in adenylyl cyclase type 1 (AC1) deletion mutant mice. BIBO3304-induced reinstatement could also be prevented with intrathecal administration an AC1 inhibitor (NB001) or a TRPV1 channel blocker (AMG9801), but not vehicle. Intrathecal administration of a TRPA1 channel blocker (HC030031) prevented the reinstatement of neuropathic hypersensitivity produced either by BIBO3304, or by NPY knockdown in NPY but not control mice. Our results confirm new mediators of latent sensitization: TRPA1 and TRPV1. We conclude that NPY acts at spinal Y1 to tonically inhibit a molecular NMDAR➔AC1 intracellular signaling pathway in the dorsal horn that is induced by peripheral nerve injury and drives both the sensory and affective components of chronic neuropathic pain.