Allergic inflammation leads to neuropathic pain via glial cell activation

Ryo Yamasaki, Takayuki Fujii, Bing Wang, Katsuhisa Masaki, Mizuho A. Kido, Mari Yoshida, Takuya Matsushita, Jun-Ichi Kira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Allergic and atopic disorders have increased over the past few decades and have been associated with neuropsychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder and asthmatic amyotrophy. Myelitis presenting with neuropathic pain can occur in patients with atopic disorder; however, the relationship between allergic inflammation and neuropathic pain, and the underlying mechanism, remains to be established. We studied whether allergic inflammation affects the spinal nociceptive system. We found that mice with asthma, atopic dermatitis, or atopic diathesis had widespread and significantly more activated microglia and astroglia in the spinal cord than those without atopy, and displayed tactile allodynia. Microarray analysis of isolated microglia revealed a dysregulated phenotype showing upregulation of M1 macrophage markers and downregulation of M2 markers in atopic mice. Among the cell surface protein genes, endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB) was most upregulated. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that EDNRB expression was enhanced in microglia and astroglia, whereas endothelin-1, an EDNRB ligand, was increased in serum, lungs, and epidermis of atopic mice. No EDNRA expression was found in the spinal cord. Expression of FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog B was significantly higher in the dorsal horn neurons of asthma mice than nonatopic mice. The EDNRB antagonist BQ788 abolished glial and neural activation and allodynia.Wefound increased serum endothelin-1 in atopic patients with myelitis and neuropathic pain, and activation of spinal microglia and astroglia with EDNRB upregulation in an autopsied case. These results suggest that allergic inflammation induces diffuse glial activation, influencing the nociceptive system via the EDNRB pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11929-11945
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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