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Role of nonpeptidergic subset of primary afferent neurons in inflammatory hypernociception in mice.

Pinto LG, Souza GR, Lopes AHP, Talbot J, Cunha FQ, Cunha TM, Ferreira SH (2013) Role of nonpeptidergic subset of primary afferent neurons in inflammatory hypernociception in mice. Neuroscience 2013 Abstracts 256.15. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Summary: Sensory information is transmitted from the periphery to the spinal cord by distinct subsets of primary afferent neurons, including small diameter unmyelinated C-fibers, which plays an important role in detecting noxious stimuli. C-fiber nociceptors have been divided into two classes, the peptidergic and nonpeptidergic. While many of the differences between peptidergic and nonpeptidergic neurons are now appreciated, a possible functional difference between these two classes of C fibers in the genesis of acute nociception as well as inflammatory pain is still unclear. Thus, this study aims to clarify the role of nonpeptidergic C fibers in acute nociception induced by mechanical, thermal and chemical stimuli as well as in inflammatory hypernociception. In order to elucidate differences between these two classes of C fibers, a neurotoxin was used to selectively eliminate the nonpeptidergic C fibers: a saporin conjugated to isolectin B4 (IB4). Nociceptive threshold was evaluated through thermal (Hargreaves) and mechanical (filaments and electronic von Frey) tests in C57BL/6 mice. Nociception models were induced by intraplantar (i.pl.) injection of capsaicin and formalin (acute nociception) or by i.pl. administration of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), epinephrine, endothelin, NGF, GDNF and carrageenan (inflammatory hypernociception). P2X3 and TRPV1 expression were analyzed by Western blot of dorsal root ganglion (DRG). The expression of IB4-labeled in spinal cord was determined by immunofluorescense using confocal microcopy. Firstly, it was observed that the intrathecal administration of IB4-saporin did not change baseline thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold of the mice paw when compared to saline and saporin-control groups. The intrathecal administration of IB4-saporin reduced mechanical inflammatory hypernociception induced by carrageenan, epinephrine, endothelin, PGE2 or GDNF, but not NGF, in mice. Similarly, the treatment with IB4-saporin inhibited the nociception caused by intraplantar injection of the capsaicin. By contrast, the acute nociception induced by formalin did not change by administration of IB4-saporin. In addition, the expression of TRPV1 and P2X3 in DRG were reduced after treatment with IB4-saporin. Consistent with these findings, we found that IB4-saporin injection decreased the expression of IB4-labeled in spinal cord. These results suggest that absence the nonpeptidergic C fibers does not affect basal nociceptive threshold. However, these fibers are essential for the development of nociception in the paw of mice induced by inflammatory stimuli like PGE2, epinephrine, endothelin, carrageenan and capsaicin.

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