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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 May 2021 - 21 May 2021

Animal Studies

2021 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Intracellular versus extracellular inhibition of calpain I causes differential effects on pain in a rat model of joint inflammation.



Calpain I is a calcium-dependent cysteine protease which has dual effects on tissue inflammation depending on its cellular location. Intracellularly, calpain I has pro-inflammatory properties but becomes anti-inflammatory when exteriorised into the extracellular space. In this study, the effect of calpain I on joint pain was investigated using the kaolin/carrageenan model of acute synovitis. Evoked pain behaviour was determined by von Frey hair algesiometry and non-evoked pain was measured using dynamic hindlimb weight bearing. Local administration of calpain I reduced secondary allodynia in the acute inflammation model and this effect was blocked by the cell impermeable calpain inhibitor E-64c. Calpain I also blocked the algesic effect of the protease activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) cleaving enzyme mast cell tryptase. The cell permeable calpain blocker E-64d also produced analgesia in arthritic joints. These data suggest that calpain I produces disparate effects on joint pain . analgesia when present extracellularly by disarming PAR-2, and pro-algesic when the enzyme is inside the cell.