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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Oct 2023 - 27 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 20

J Immunol


Complement Receptor C3aR1 Contributes to Paclitaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathic Pain in Mice and Rats.


Xu J, Huang P, Bie B, Dai Y, Ben-Salem S, Borjini N, Zhang L, Chen J, Olman M, Cheng J, Lin F


Cancer chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain is a devastating pain syndrome without effective therapies. We previously reported that rats deficient in complement C3, the central component of complement activation cascade, showed a reduced degree of paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia (PIMA), suggesting that complement is integrally involved in the pathogenesis of this model. However, the underlying mechanism was unclear. Complement activation leads to the production of C3a, which mediates inflammation through its receptor C3aR1. In this article, we report that the administration of paclitaxel induced a significantly higher expression level of C3aR1 on dorsal root ganglion (DRG) macrophages and expansion of these macrophages in DRGs in wild-type (WT) compared with in C3aR1 knockout (KO) mice. We also found that paclitaxel induced less severe PIMA, along with a reduced DRG expression of transient receptor potential channels of the vanilloid subtype 4 (TRPV4), an essential mediator for PIMA, in C3aR1 KO than in WT mice. Treating WT mice or rats with a C3aR1 antagonist markedly attenuated PIMA in association with downregulated DRG TRPV4 expression, reduced DRG macrophages expansion, suppressed DRG neuron hyperexcitability, and alleviated peripheral intraepidermal nerve fiber loss. Administration of C3aR1 antagonist to TRPV4 KO mice further protected them from PIMA. These results suggest that complement regulates PIMA development through C3aR1 to upregulate TRPV4 on DRG neurons and promote DRG macrophage expansion. Targeting C3aR1 could be a novel therapeutic approach to alleviate this debilitating pain syndrome.