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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jun 2020 - 3 Jul 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Jul 01


eIF4E phosphorylation modulates pain and neuroinflammation in the aged.


Mody PH, Dos Santos NL, Barron LR, Price TJ, Burton MD
Geroscience. 2020 Jul 01.
PMID: 32613493.


The aged population has a higher probability of developing chronic pain from acute insults because of age-associated low-grade inflammation. Several emerging studies have shown a crucial role of cap-dependent translation in the development of chronic pain in young adult animals; however, its role in the aged has never been reported. Acute and chronic inflammatory responses, including pain, are altered over age, and understanding how cap-dependent translation can represent an important and druggable pathway is imperative for understanding its therapeutic potential. Here we have tested how an inflammatory stimulus, complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), affects spontaneous and evoked pain, as well as inflammation in young versus aged mice that lack functional cap-dependent translation machinery (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)) compared with age-matched wild-type (WT) mice. Interestingly, we found that CFA-induced acute pain and inflammation are modulated by eIF4E phosphorylation in aged but not young animals. Aged transgenic animals showed attenuated paw temperature and inflammation, as well as a mitigation in the onset and quicker resolution in mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity. We found that levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α are elevated in dorsal root ganglia in aged WT and eIF4E transgenic groups, despite faster resolution of acute inflammation and pain in the aged eIF4E transgenic animals. We propose that these cytokines are important in mediating the observed behavioral responses in the young and represent an alternate pathway in the development of age-associated inflammation and behavioral consequences. These findings demonstrate that eIF4E phosphorylation can be a key target for treating inflammatory pain in the aged.