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Mol Pain. 2011 Dec 23;7:102. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-7-102.

Oncostatin M induces heat hypersensitivity by gp130-dependent sensitization of TRPV1 in sensory neurons.

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  • 1Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.


Oncostatin M (OSM) is a member of the interleukin-6 cytokine family and regulates eg. gene activation, cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. OSM binds to a receptor complex consisting of the ubiquitously expressed signal transducer gp130 and the ligand binding OSM receptor subunit, which is expressed on a specific subset of primary afferent neurons. In the present study, the effect of OSM on heat nociception was investigated in nociceptor-specific gp130 knock-out (SNS-gp130-/-) and gp130 floxed (gp130fl/fl) mice.Subcutaneous injection of pathophysiologically relevant concentrations of OSM into the hind-paw of C57BL6J wild type mice significantly reduced paw withdrawal latencies to heat stimulation. In contrast to gp130fl/fl mice, OSM did not induce heat hypersensitivity in vivo in SNS-gp130-/- mice. OSM applied at the receptive fields of sensory neurons in in vitro skin-nerve preparations showed that OSM significantly increased the discharge rate during a standard ramp-shaped heat stimulus. The capsaicin- and heat-sensitive ion channel TRPV1, expressed on a subpopulation of nociceptive neurons, has been shown to play an important role in inflammation-induced heat hypersensitivity. Stimulation of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons with OSM resulted in potentiation of capsaicin induced ionic currents. In line with these recordings, mice with a null mutation of the TRPV1 gene did not show any signs of OSM-induced heat hypersensitivity in vivo.The present data suggest that OSM induces thermal hypersensitivity by directly sensitizing nociceptors via OSMR-gp130 receptor mediated potentiation of TRPV1.

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