Cytokines such as interleukins are known to be involved in the development of neuropathic pain through activation of neuroglia. However, the role of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 1 (CCL-1), a well-characterized chemokine secreted by activated T cells, in the nociceptive transmission remains unclear. We found that CCL-1 was upregulated in the spinal dorsal horn after partial sciatic nerve ligation. Therefore, we examined actions of recombinant CCL-1 on behavioural pain score, synaptic transmission, glial cell function and cytokine production in the spinal dorsal horn. Here we show that CCL-1 is one of the key mediators involved in the development of neuropathic pain. Expression of CCL-1 mRNA was mainly detected in the ipsilateral dorsal root ganglion, and the expression of specific CCL-1 receptor CCR-8 was upregulated in the superficial dorsal horn. Increased expression of CCR-8 was observed not only in neurons but also in microglia and astrocytes in the ipsilateral side. Recombinant CCL-1 injected intrathecally (i.t.) to naive mice induced allodynia, which was prevented by the supplemental addition of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, MK-801. Patch-clamp recordings from spinal cord slices revealed that application of CCL-1 transiently enhanced excitatory synaptic transmission in the substantia gelatinosa (lamina II). In the long term, i.t. injection of CCL-1 induced phosphorylation of NMDA receptor subunit, NR1 and NR2B, in the spinal cord. Injection of CCL-1 also upregulated mRNA level of glial cell markers and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1b, TNF-a and IL-6). The tactile allodynia induced by nerve ligation was attenuated by prophylactic and chronic administration of neutralizing antibody against CCL-1 and by knocking down of CCR-8. Our results indicate that CCL-1 is one of the key molecules in pathogenesis, and CCL-1/CCR-8 signaling system can be a potential target for drug development in the treatment for neuropathic pain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research