CAPS Research

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Item
    The Antidiabetic Drug Metformin Prevents and Reverses Neuropathic Pain and Spinal Cord Microglial Activation in Male but not Female Mice
    (Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science Ltd, 2018-11-01) Inyang, Kufreobong E.; Szabo-Pardi, Thomas; Wentworth, Emma; McDougal, Timothy A.; Dussor, Gregory; Burton, Michael D.; Price, Theodore J.; 0000-0002-6971-6221 (Price, TJ); Dussor, Gregory; Price, Theodore J.; Inyang, Kufreobong E.; Szabo-Pardi, Thomas; Wentworth, Emma; McDougal, Timothy A.
    Metformin is a widely prescribed drug used in the treatment of type II diabetes. While the drug has many mechanisms of action, most of these converge on AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), which metformin activates. AMPK is a multifunctional kinase that is a negative regulator of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Activation of AMPK decreases the excitability of dorsal root ganglion neurons and AMPK activators are effective in reducing chronic pain in inflammatory, post-surgical and neuropathic rodent models. We have previously shown that metformin leads to an enduring resolution of neuropathic pain in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model in male mice and rats. The precise mechanism underlying this long-lasting effect is not known. We conducted experiments to investigate the effects of metformin on SNI-induced microglial activation, a process implicated in the maintenance of neuropathic pain that has recently been shown to be sexually dimorphic. We find that metformin is effective at inhibiting development of neuropathic pain when treatment is given around the time of injury and that metformin is likewise effective at reversing neuropathic mechanical hypersensitivity when treatment is initiation weeks after injury. This effect is linked to decreased Iba-1 staining in the dorsal horn, a marker of microglial activation. Importantly, these positive behavioral and microglia effects of metformin were only observed in male mice. We conclude that the neuropathic pain modifying effects of metformin are sex-specific supporting a differential role for microglial activation in male and female mice.
  • Item
    Some Prospective Alternatives for Treating Pain: The Endocannabinoid System and its Putative Receptors GPR18 and GPR55
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2019-01-08) Guerrero-Alba, Raquel; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Abimael; Valdez-Morales, Eduardo E.; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Condes-Lara, Miguel; Rodriguez, Martin G.; Marichal-Cancino, Bruno A.; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino
    Background: Marijuana extracts (cannabinoids) have been used for several millennia for pain treatment. Regarding the site of action, cannabinoids are highly promiscuous molecules, but only two cannabinoid receptors (CB₁ and CB₂) have been deeply studied and classified. Thus, therapeutic actions, side effects and pharmacological targets for cannabinoids have been explained based on the pharmacology of cannabinoid CB₁/CB₂ receptors. However, the accumulation of confusing and sometimes contradictory results suggests the existence of other cannabinoid receptors. Different orphan proteins (e.g., GPR18, GPR55, GPR119, etc.) have been proposed as putative cannabinoid receptors. According to their expression, GPR18 and GPR55 could be involved in sensory transmission and pain integration. Methods: This article reviews select relevant information about the potential role of GPR18 and GPR55 in the pathophysiology of pain. Results: This work summarized novel data supporting that, besides cannabinoid CB₁ and CB₂ receptors, GPR18 and GPR55 may be useful for pain treatment. Conclusion: There is evidence to support an antinociceptive role for GPR18 and GPR55.
  • Item
    RNA Control in Pain: Blame it on the Messenger
    (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-05-14) de la Peña, June Bryan I.; Song, Jane J.; Campbell, Zachary T.; de la Peña, June Bryan I.; Song, Jane J.; Campbell, Zachary T.
    mRNA function is meticulously controlled. We provide an overview of the integral role that posttranscriptional controls play in the perception of painful stimuli by sensory neurons. These specialized cells, termed nociceptors, precisely regulate mRNA polarity, translation, and stability. A growing body of evidence has revealed that targeted disruption of mRNAs and RNA-binding proteins robustly diminishes pain-associated behaviors. We propose that the use of multiple independent regulatory paradigms facilitates robust temporal and spatial precision of protein expression in response to a range of pain-promoting stimuli. ©2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Item
    Transcriptome Analysis of the Human Tibial Nerve Identifies Sexually Dimorphic Expression of Genes Involved in Pain, Inflammation, and Neuro-Immunity
    (Frontiers Media S.A.) Ray, Pradipta R.; Khan, Jawad; Wangzhou, Andi; Tavares-Ferreira, Diana; Akopian, A. N.; Dussor, Gregory; Price, Theodore J.; Ray, Pradipta R.; Khan, Jawad; Wangzhou, Andi; Tavares-Ferreira, Diana; Dussor, Gregory; Price, Theodore J.
    Sex differences in gene expression are important contributors to normal physiology and mechanisms of disease. This is increasingly apparent in understanding and potentially treating chronic pain where molecular mechanisms driving sex differences in neuronal plasticity are giving new insight into why certain chronic pain disorders preferentially affect women vs. men. Large transcriptomic resources are now available and can be used to mine for sex differences to gather insight from molecular profiles using donor cohorts. We performed in-depth analysis of 248 human tibial nerve (hTN) transcriptomes from the GTEx Consortium project to gain insight into sex-dependent gene expression in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We discover 149 genes with sex differential gene expression. Many of the more abundant genes in men are associated with inflammation and appear to be primarily expressed by glia or immune cells, with some genes downstream of Notch signaling. In women, we find the differentially expressed transcription factor SP4 that is known to drive a regulatory program, and may impact sex differences in PNS physiology. Many of these 149 differentially expressed (DE) genes have some previous association with chronic pain but few of them have been explored thoroughly. Additionally, using clinical data in the GTEx database, we identify a subset of DE, sexually dimorphic genes in diseases associated with chronic pain: arthritis and Type II diabetes. Our work creates a unique resource that identifies sexually dimorphic gene expression in the human PNS with implications for discovery of sex-specific pain mechanisms. © 2019 Ray, Khan, Wangzhou, Tavares-Ferreira, Akopian, Dussor and Price.