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2022 Sep 18

J Pharmacol Exp Ther



Braden K, Campolo M, Li Y, Chen Z, Doyle TM, Giancotti L A, Esposito E, Zhang J, Cuzzocrea S, Arnatt C K, Salvemini D
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2022 Sep 18.
PMID: 36116795.


Emerging evidence implicates the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), GPR183 in the development of neuropathic pain. Continued investigation of the signaling pathways downstream of GPR183 is needed to support the development of GPR183 antagonists as analgesics. In rodents, intrathecal (i.th.) injection of its ligand, 7α,25-dihydroxycholesterol (7α,25-OHC), causes time-dependent development of mechano-and cold- allodynia (behavioral hypersensitivity). These effects are blocked by the selective small molecule GPR183 antagonist, SAE-14. However, the molecular mechanisms engaged downstream of GPR183 in the spinal cord are not known. Here, we show that 7α,25-OHC-induced behavioral hypersensitivity is Gα dependent, but not β-arrestin2-dependent. Non-biased transcriptomic analyses of dorsal-horn spinal cord (DH-SC) tissues harvested at the time of peak hypersensitivity implicate potential contributions of Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). In support, we found that the development of 7α,25-OHC/GPR183 induced mechano-allodynia was associated with significant activation of MAPKs (extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK], p38) and redox-sensitive transcription factors (NF-κB) and increased formation of inflammatory and neuroexcitatory cytokines. SAE-14 blocked these effects and behavioral hypersensitivity. Our findings provide novel mechanistic insight into how GPR183 signaling in the spinal cord produces hypersensitivity through MAPK and NF-κB activation. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, we have characterized the molecular mechanisms underpinning 7α,25-OHC/GPR183-induced hypersensitivity in mice. Intrathecal injections of the GPR183 agonist, 7α,25-OHC induce behavioral hypersensitivity and these effects are blocked by the selective GPR183 antagonist, SAE-14. We found that 7α,25-OHC-induced allodynia is dependent on MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways and results in an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. This study provides a first insight into how GPR183 signaling in the spinal cord is pronociceptive.