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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Mar 2022 - 1 Apr 2022

2022 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


KCC2 receptor upregulation potentiates antinociceptive effect of GABAAR agonist on remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia.


Gao Y, Zhan W, Jin Y, Chen X, Cai J, Zhou X, Huang X, Zhao Q, Wang W, Sun J
Mol Pain. 2022 Jan-Dec; 18:17448069221082880.
PMID: 35352582.


GABAergic system disinhibition played an important role in the pathogenesis of remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia (RIH). K-Cl-cotransporter-2 (KCC2) has the potential to enhance the strength of GABAergic signaling function. However, few reports have focused on the additive analgesic effect of KCC2 enhancer and GABAA receptor agonist on the spinal dorsal horn. Therefore, we evaluated the role of GABA type A receptor (GABAAR) agonist (muscimol), KCC2 enhancer (CLP257) in remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia, as well as GABA and KCC2 receptors responses in the dorsal spinal horn. Remifentanil started to reduce paw withdrawal mechanical thresholds at postoperative 4 h and lasted to 72 h. The RIH associated decreases in spinal GABA release was transient. The amount of spinal GABA transmitter by microdialysis was observed to be decreased at the beginning and reached bottom at 150 min, then returned to the baseline level at 330 min. The synthesis and transportation of GABA transmitter were inhibited, characterized as spinal GAD67 and GAT1 downregulation after the establishment of RIH model. The effect of RIH on GABA receptor downregulation was linked to the reduced expression of spinal KCC2 receptor. This decrease in KCC2 expression has coincided with an early loss of GABA inhibition. KCC2 enhancer, which is reported to lead to a reduction in intracellular Cl, can enhance GABA-mediated inhibitory function. Both muscimol and CLP257 could dose-dependently inhibit mechanical hypersensitivity caused by remifentanil-induced downregulation of GABAAα2R and KCC2, respectively. Compared with muscimol acting alone, the joint action of CLP257 and muscimol showed a higher pain threshold and less c-fos expression via upregulation of KCC2 and GABAAα2R. Taken together, these findings suggested that the RIH was initiated by decreased GABA release. Downregulation of GABAAα2R and KCC2 receptor contributed to spinally mediated hyperalgesia in RIH. KCC2 enhancer was proved to potentiate antinociceptive effect of GABAAR agonist in RIH.