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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 10

Mol Pain


Stomatin-like protein 3 modulates the responses of Aδ, but not C fiber bone afferent neurons to noxious mechanical stimulation in an animal model of acute experimental bone pain.


Morgan M, Thai J, Nencini S, Xu J, Ivanusic JJ


STOML3 is a membrane bound scaffolding protein that has been shown to facilitate the opening of mechanically sensitive ion channels and contribute to noxious mechanical sensation, allodynia and hyperalgesia. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of STOML3 in noxious mechanical sensitivity of bone afferent neurons and carrageenan-induced acute inflammation in the bone. An in vivo, electrophysiological bone-nerve preparation was used to make recordings of the activity and sensitivity of bone afferent neurons that innervate the tibial marrow cavity in anaesthetised rats, in response to noxious mechanical stimuli delivered to the marrow cavity, before and after injection of either the STOML3 oligomerisation inhibitor OB-1 or vehicle, in either naïve animals or animals with carrageenan-induced inflammation of the marrow cavity. A dynamic weight-bearing apparatus was used to measure weight bearing in response to inflammatory pain before and after injection of OB-1 or saline into the tibial marrow cavity in the presence of carrageenan-induced inflammation. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that Aδ, but not C bone afferent neurons have a reduced discharge frequency in response to mechanical stimulation, and that carrageenan-induced sensitisation of Aδ, but not C bone afferent neurons was attenuated by inhibition of STOML3 oligomerisation with OB-1. Animals treated with OB-1 spent a significantly greater amount of time on the limb injected with carrageenan than animals treated with saline. Our findings demonstrate that inhibition of STOML3 oligomerisation reduces inflammatory bone pain by reducing the sensitivity of Aδ bone afferent neurons to mechanical stimulation. Targeting STOML3 may be an effective approach to reduce pain from noxious pressure and/or painful inflammatory pathology in bone.