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IB4 (+) neurons contribute to force-induced cancer pain but not cancer proliferation

Ye Y, Viet CT, Dang D, Schmidt BL (2012) IB4 (+) neurons contribute to force-induced cancer pain but not cancer proliferation. Neuroscience 2012 Abstracts 67.10. Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.

Summary: The primary treatment for cancer pain is μ-opiates; however, often μ-opiates are not effective and they produce multiple debilitating side effects. Recent studies show that μ- and δ-opioid receptors are separately expressed on IB4 (-) and IB4 (+) neurons, which mediate thermal and mechanical pain, respectively. We investigated the contribution of IB4 (+) and IB4 (-) neurons to cancer-induced mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity and investigated the role of these fibers to cancer proliferation. We used two separate mouse cancer pain models: 1) a cancer supernatant injection model, and 2) an orthotopic cancer model. The former model isolated the effect of the cancer secretome while the latter examined the effect of the following constituents within the cancer microenvironment: the cancer, the cancer secretome and the host tissue. Using the cancer supernatant model, along with injection of a selective δ-opioid receptor agonist and a P2X3 antagonist to target IB4 (+) neurons, we showed that IB4 (+) neurons played arole in cancer-supernatant-induced mechanical allodynia, but not thermal hyperalgesia. Selective ablation of IB4 (+) neurons in the spinal cord using IB4-saporin affected cancer-supernatant-induced mechanical but not thermal hypersensitivity. In the orthotopic cancer model, mice with paw cancer exhibited both mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity. Selective ablation of IB4(+) neurons decreased mechanical hypersensitivity; however thermal hypersensitivity was increased. We hypothesized that increased thermal hyperalgesia was associated with a compensatory elevation of TRPV1 expression in the spinal cord. Thermal latency in the mouse cancer paw was increased by intrathecal TRPV1 antagonist and selective removal of TRPV1 terminals by capsaicin in the IB4-saporin treated mice compared to saporin treated mice. Mechanical threshold was not affected by either the TRPV1 antagonist or capsaicin treatment. In the spinal cord, TRPV1 protein levels were increased in cancer mice compared to naïve mice, and TRPV1 was likely to be increased in the IB4-saporin treated cancer mice compared to saporin treated cancer mice. We investigated cancer proliferation by measuring tumor volume. Tumor volume was not affected by selective ablation of IB4 (+) neurons. Our findings suggest that peripherally administered pharmacological agents targeting IB4 (+) neurons, such as a selective δ-opioid receptor agonist or P2X3 antagonist, might be effective for treating cancer pain in patients. Acknowledgements: Supported by NIH/NIDCR R21 DE018561

Related Products: IB4-SAP (Cat. #IT-10)

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