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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Sep 2023 - 8 Sep 2023

Basic Science

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

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug

Acta Pharm Sin B




Editor's Pick

Potentiation of PIEZO2 mechanically-activated currents in sensory neurons mediates vincristine-induced mechanical hypersensitivity.


Duan M, Jia Y, Huo L, Gao Y, Wang J, Zhang W, Jia Z


Vincristine, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent for treating different cancer, often induces severe peripheral neuropathic pain. A common symptom of vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathic pain is mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia. However, mechanisms underlying vincristine-induced mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia are not well understood. In the present study, we show with behavioral assessment in rats that vincristine induces mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in a PIEZO2 channel-dependent manner since gene knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of PIEZO2 channels alleviates vincristine-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Electrophysiological results show that vincristine potentiates PIEZO2 rapidly adapting (RA) mechanically-activated (MA) currents in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We have found that vincristine-induced potentiation of PIEZO2 MA currents is due to the enhancement of static plasma membrane tension (SPMT) of these cells following vincristine treatment. Reducing SPMT of DRG neurons by cytochalasin D (CD), a disruptor of the actin filament, abolishes vincristine-induced potentiation of PIEZO2 MA currents, and suppresses vincristine-induced mechanical hypersensitivity in rats. Collectively, enhancing SPMT and subsequently potentiating PIEZO2 MA currents in primary afferent neurons may be an underlying mechanism responsible for vincristine-induced mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in rats. Targeting to inhibit PIEZO2 channels may be an effective analgesic method to attenuate vincristine-induced mechanical hypersensitivity.