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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 May 2022 - 20 May 2022

Animal Studies

2022 May


36 Suppl 1

GPR55-Dependent Excitation of Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons by Lysophosphatidylcholine.


Bennett AS, Alward TA, Reed DE, Lomax AE
FASEB J. 2022 May; 36 Suppl 1.
PMID: 35560523.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that leads to chronic abdominal pain. The perception of this visceral pain involves peripheral mechanisms, such as nociceptors with cell bodies in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and axons in the gut wall, and central mechanisms, such as neuroplasticity within the spinal cord and brain. Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), which has recently been shown to bind to GPR55 in human prostate carcinoma cells, is released from cell membranes and is elevated in patients with IBS. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons express GPR55, and activation of GPR55 has been implicated in inflammatory pain. Therefore, we hypothesised that elevated LPC during IBS contributes to pain due to its activation of GPR55 on dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, leading to the excitation of visceral pain pathways. Current clamp recordings revealed that application of LPC (10 µM) to murine DRG neurons depolarised the resting membrane potential (p = 0.0001) by approximately 8 mV and decreased the rheobase (p < 0.05) by approximately 20%. Using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging using FURA-2 AM, LPC (10 µM) doubled intracellular [Ca2+]i. This effect was significantly reduced by the selective GPR55 antagonist CID16020046 (10 µM) (p < 0.05), suggesting the response to LPC is at least partially mediated by GPR55. The source of the [Ca2+] elevation following LPC application was elucidated using cyclopiazonic acid (CPA; 10 µM), which depletes intracellular Ca2+ stores, and a 0-Ca2+ external solution to remove the contribution of Ca2+ influx from extracellular sources. While both significantly decreased the Ca2+ influx elicited by LPC, the 0-Ca2+ external solution almost abolished the effect (p < 0.0001) of LPC. Together, these data suggest that the increased [Ca2+] elicited by LPC activation of GPR55 is partially mediated through the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores but is mostly due to influx of extracellular Ca2+.