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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Jun 2022 - 1 Jul 2022

2022 Jun 16

Int J Mol Sci



NMDA and P2X7 Receptors Require Pannexin 1 Activation to Initiate and Maintain Nociceptive Signaling in the Spinal Cord of Neuropathic Rats.


Bravo D, Zepeda-Morales K, Maturana CJ, Retamal JS, Hernández A, Pelissier T, Barra R, Sáez-Briones P, Burgos H, Constandil L
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 16; 23(12).
PMID: 35743148.


Pannexin 1 (Panx1) is involved in the spinal central sensitization process in rats with neuropathic pain, but its interaction with well-known, pain-related, ligand-dependent receptors, such as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and P2X7 purinoceptors (P2X7R), remains largely unexplored. Here, we studied whether NMDAR- and P2X7R-dependent nociceptive signaling in neuropathic rats require the activation of Panx1 channels to generate spinal central sensitization, as assessed by behavioral (mechanical hyperalgesia) and electrophysiological (C-reflex wind-up potentiation) indexes. Administration of either a selective NMDAR agonist i.t. (NMDA, 2 mM) or a P2X7R agonist (BzATP, 150 μM) significantly increased both the mechanical hyperalgesia and the C-reflex wind-up potentiation, effects that were rapidly reversed (minutes) by i.t. administration of a selective pannexin 1 antagonist (10panx peptide, 300 μM), with the scores even reaching values of rats without neuropathy. Accordingly, 300 μM 10panx completely prevented the effects of NMDA and BzATP administered 1 h later, on mechanical hyperalgesia and C-reflex wind-up potentiation. Confocal immunofluorescence imaging revealed coexpression of Panx1 with NeuN protein in intrinsic dorsal horn neurons of neuropathic rats. The results indicate that both NMDAR- and P2X7R-mediated increases in mechanical hyperalgesia and C-reflex wind-up potentiation require neuronal Panx1 channel activation to initiate and maintain nociceptive signaling in neuropathic rats.