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Papers: 2 Dec 2023 - 8 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 04

Exp Neurol


Spinal interleukin-24 contributes to neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve injury through interleukin-20 receptor2 in mice.


Cai Y, He C, Dai Y, Zhang D, Lv G, Lu H, Chen G


Neuroinflammation is critically involved in nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain, characterized by local and systemic increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-24 (IL-24), a key member of the IL-10 family, has been extensively studied for its therapeutic potential in various diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, and bacterial infections, but whether it is involved in the regulation of neuropathic pain caused by peripheral nerve injury (PNI) has not been well established. In this study, we reported that spared nerve injury (SNI) induced a significant upregulation of IL-24 in fibroblasts, neurons, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs, also called NG2-glia) in the affected spinal dorsal horns (SDHs), as well as dorsal root ganglions (DRGs). We also found that tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) induced the transcriptional expression of IL-24 in cultured fibroblasts, neurons, and NG2-glia; in addition, astrocytes, microglia, and NG2-glia treated with TNF-α exhibited a prominent increase in interleukin-20 receptor 2 (IL-20R2) expression. Furthermore, we evaluated the ability of IL-24 and IL-20R2 to attenuate pain in preclinical models of neuropathic pain. Intrathecal (i.t.) injection of IL-24 neutralizing antibody or IL-20R2 neutralizing antibody could effectively alleviate mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia after PNI. Similarly, intrathecal injection of IL-24 siRNA or IL-20R2 siRNA also alleviated mechanical allodynia after SNI. The inhibition of IL-24 reduced SNI-induced proinflammatory cytokine (IL-1β and TNF-α) production and increased anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) production. Meanwhile, the inhibition of IL-20R2 also decreased IL-1β mRNA expression after SNI. Collectively, our findings revealed that IL-24/IL-20R might contribute to neuropathic pain through inflammatory response. Therefore, targeting IL-24 could be a promising strategy for treating neuropathic pain induced by PNI.