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Papers: 6 Jan 2024 - 12 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 05

Mol Neurobiol


TRPM7 Mediates Neuropathic Pain by Activating mTOR Signaling in Astrocytes after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats.


Kim IY, Park CS, Seo KJ, Lee JY, Yune TY


In this study, we investigated whether transient receptor melastatin 7 (TRPM7), known as a non-selective cation channel, inhibits neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury (SCI) and how TRPM7 regulates neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain was developed 4 weeks after moderate contusive SCI and TRPM7 was markedly upregulated in astrocytes in the lamina I and II of L4-L5 dorsal horn. In addition, both mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia were significantly alleviated by a TRPM7 inhibitor, carvacrol. In particular, carvacrol treatment inhibited mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which was activated in astrocytes. When rats were treated with rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR signaling, neuropathic pain was significantly inhibited. Furthermore, blocking TRPM7 and mTOR signaling by carvacrol and rapamycin inhibited astrocyte activation in lamina I and II of dorsal spinal cord and reduced the level of p-JNK and p-c-Jun, which are known to be activated in astrocytes. Finally, inhibiting TRPM7/mTOR signaling also downregulated the production of pain-related factors such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL) 2, CCL-3, CCL-4, CCL-20, chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 1, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 which are known to be involved in the induction and/or maintenance of neuropathic pain after SCI. These results suggest an important role of TRPM7-mediated mTOR signaling in astrocyte activation and thereby induction and/or maintenance of neuropathic pain after SCI.