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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 May 2022 - 3 Jun 2022

2022 Jun 01

Mol Pain

Phytohormone abscisic acid ameliorates neuropathic pain via regulating LANCL2 protein abundance and glial activation at the spinal cord.


Maixner D, Christy D, Kong L, Viatchenko-Karpinski V, Horner A, Hooks S, Weng H-R
Mol Pain. 2022 Jun 01:17448069221107781.
PMID: 35647699.


Spinal neuroinflammation plays a critical role in the genesis of neuropathic pain. Accumulating data suggest that abscisic acid (ABA), a phytohormone, regulates inflammatory processes in mammals. In this study, we found that reduction of the LANCL2 receptor protein but not the agonist ABA in the spinal cord is associated with the genesis of neuropathic pain. Systemic or intrathecal administration of ABA ameliorates the development and pre-existence of mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in animals with partial sciatic nerve ligation (pSNL). LANCL2 is expressed only in microglia in the spinal dorsal horn. Pre-emptive treatment with ABA attenuates activation of microglia and astrocytes, ERK activity, and TNF□ protein abundance in the dorsal horn in rats with pSNL. These are accompanied by restoration of spinal LANCL2 protein abundance. Spinal knockdown of LANCL2 gene with siRNA recapitulates the behavioral and spinal molecular changes induced by pSNL. Activation of spinal toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) with lipopolysaccharide leads to activation of microglia, and over production of TNF□, which are concurrently accompanied by suppression of protein levels of LANCL2 and peroxisome proliferator activated-receptor γ. These changes are ameliorated when ABA is added with LPS. The anti-inflammatory effects induced by ABA do not requires Gi protein activity. Our study reveals that the ABA/LANCL2 system is a powerful endogenous system regulating spinal neuroinflammation and nociceptive processing, suggesting the potential utility of ABA as the management of neuropathic pain.