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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 May;24(4):569-76. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.12.007. Epub 2009 Dec 24.

Dynamic regulation of spinal pro-inflammatory cytokine release in the rat in vivo following peripheral nerve injury.

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  • 1Pain Signalling Group, Neuropharmacology and Neurobiology Section, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. k.j.whitehead@bham.ac.uk

Abstract

Spinal release of cytokines may play a critical role in the maladapted nociceptive signaling underlying chronic pain states. In order to investigate this biology, we have developed a novel 'high flux' intrathecal microdialysis approach in combination with multiplex bead-based immunoassay technology to concurrently monitor the spinal release of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)alpha in rats with unilateral sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI). Intrathecal microdialysis was performed under isoflurane/N(2)O anaesthesia in rats with confirmed mechanical hypersensitivity. In a first study, C-fiber strength electrical stimulation of the operated nerve in neuropathic rats was found to evoke a dramatic increase in IL-1beta efflux ( approximately 15-fold) that was significantly greater than that observed in the sham-operated group. Spinal IL-6 efflux was also responsive to primary afferent stimulation, whereas TNFalpha was not. In a second study, treatment with the glial inhibitor propentofylline for 7days normalized CCI-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. In the same animals, this treatment also significantly reduced intrathecal IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNFalpha and prevented afferent stimulation-evoked cytokine release of both IL-1beta and IL-6. These results provide support for glia as the source of the majority of intrathecal IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNFalpha that accompanies mechanical hypersensitivity in the CCI rat. Moreover, our studies demonstrate the ability of a neurone-glia signaling mechanism to dynamically modulate this release and support a role of spinal IL-1beta in the phasic transmission of abnormal pain signals.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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