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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Nov 2023 - 17 Nov 2023

2023 Nov 12

J Neurosci


PGE2 potentiates Orai1-mediated calcium entry contributing to peripheral sensitization.


Wei D, Birla H, Dou Y, Mei Y, Huo X, Whitehead V, Osei-Owusu P, Feske S, Patafio G, Tao Y, Hu H


Peripheral sensitization is one of the primary mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of chronic pain. However, candidate molecules involved in peripheral sensitization remain incompletely understood. We have shown that store-operated calcium channels (SOCs) are expressed in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Whether SOCs contribute to peripheral sensitization associated with chronic inflammatory pain is elusive. Here we report that global or conditional deletion of Orai1 attenuates CFA-induced pain hypersensitivity in both male and female mice. To further establish the role of Orai1 in inflammatory pain, we performed calcium imaging and patch-clamp recordings in wild-type (WT) and Orai1 knockout (KO) DRG neurons. We found that SOC function was significantly enhanced in WT but not in Orai1 KO DRG neurons from CFA- and carrageenan-injected mice. Interestingly, the Orai1 protein level in L3/4 DRGs was not altered under inflammatory conditions. To understand how Orai1 is modulated under inflammatory pain conditions, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was used to sensitize DRG neurons. PGE2-induced increase in neuronal excitability and pain hypersensitivity was significantly reduced in Orai1 KO mice. PGE2-induced potentiation of SOCE was observed in WT, but not in Orai1 KO DRG neurons. This effect was attenuated by a PGE2 receptor 1 (EP1) antagonist and mimicked by an EP1 agonist. Inhibition of Gq/11, PKC or ERK abolished PGE2-induced SOCE increase, indicating PGE2-induced SOCE enhancement is mediated by EP1-mediated downstream cascade. These findings demonstrate that Orai1 plays an important role in peripheral sensitization. Our study also provides new insight into molecular mechanisms underlying PGE2-induced modulation of inflammatory pain. Store-operated calcium channel (SOC) Orai1 is expressed and functional in DRG neurons. Whether Orai1 contributes to peripheral sensitization is unclear. The present demonstrates that Orai1-mediated SOC function is enhanced in DRG neurons under inflammatory conditions. Global and conditional deletion of Orai1 attenuates CFA-induced pain hypersensitivity. We also demonstrate that Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) potentiates SOC function in DRG neurons, through EP1-mediated signaling pathway. Importantly, we have found that Orai1 deficiency diminishes PGE2-induced SOC function increase and reduces PGE2-induced increase in neuronal excitability and pain hypersensitivity. These findings suggest that Orai1 plays an important role in peripheral sensitization associated with inflammatory pain. Our study reveals a novel mechanism underlying PGE2/EP1-induced peripheral sensitization. Orai1 may serve as a potential target for pathological pain.