I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Jun 2023 - 9 Jun 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Cancer Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 06



Exosome-associated lysophosphatidic acid signaling contributes to cancer pain.


Khasabova IA, Khasabov SG, Johns M, Juliette J, Zheng A, Morgan H, Flippen A, Allen K, Golovko MY, Golovko SA, Zhang W, Marti J, Cain D, Seybold VS, Simone DA


Pain associated with bone cancer remains poorly managed, and chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat cancer usually increase pain. The discovery of dual-acting drugs that reduce cancer and produce analgesia is an optimal approach. The mechanisms underlying bone cancer pain involve interactions between cancer cells and nociceptive neurons. We demonstrated that fibrosarcoma cells express high levels of autotaxin (ATX), the enzyme synthetizing lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Lysophosphatidic acid increased proliferation of fibrosarcoma cells in vitro. Lysophosphatidic acid is also a pain-signaling molecule, which activates LPA receptors (LPARs) located on nociceptive neurons and satellite cells in dorsal root ganglia. We therefore investigated the contribution of the ATX-LPA-LPAR signaling to pain in a mouse model of bone cancer pain in which fibrosarcoma cells are implanted into and around the calcaneus bone, resulting in tumor growth and hypersensitivity. LPA was elevated in serum of tumor-bearing mice, and blockade of ATX or LPAR reduced tumor-evoked hypersensitivity. Because cancer cell-secreted exosomes contribute to hypersensitivity and ATX is bound to exosomes, we determined the role of exosome-associated ATX-LPA-LPAR signaling in hypersensitivity produced by cancer exosomes. Intraplantar injection of cancer exosomes into naive mice produced hypersensitivity by sensitizing C-fiber nociceptors. Inhibition of ATX or blockade of LPAR attenuated cancer exosome-evoked hypersensitivity in an ATX-LPA-LPAR-dependent manner. Parallel in vitro studies revealed the involvement of ATX-LPA-LPAR signaling in direct sensitization of dorsal root ganglion neurons by cancer exosomes. Thus, our study identified a cancer exosome-mediated pathway, which may represent a therapeutic target for treating tumor growth and pain in patients with bone cancer.