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Neuroscience. 2008 Sep 9;155(4):1227-36. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.06.049. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Reg-2 expression in dorsal root ganglion neurons after adjuvant-induced monoarthritis.

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Neuroscience Centre, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Bart's & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Whitechapel, London E1 2AT, UK.


Reg-2 is a secreted protein that is expressed de novo in motoneurons, sympathetic neurons, and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons after nerve injury and which can act as a Schwann cell mitogen. We now show that Reg-2 is also upregulated by DRG neurons in inflammation with a very unusual expression pattern. In a rat model of monoarthritis, Reg-2 immunoreactivity was detected in DRG neurons at 1 day, peaked at 3 days (in 11.6% of DRG neurons), and was still present at 10 days (in 5%). Expression was almost exclusively in the population of DRG neurons that expresses the purinoceptor P2X(3) and binding sites for the lectin Griffonia simplicifolia IB4, and which is known to respond to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Immunoreactivity was present in DRG cell bodies and central terminals in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. In contrast, very little expression was seen in the nerve growth factor (NGF) responsive and substance P expressing population. However intrathecal delivery of GDNF did not induce Reg-2 expression, but leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) had a dramatic effect, inducing Reg-2 immunoreactivity in 39% of DRG neurons and 62% of P2X(3) cells. Changes in inflammation have previously been observed predominantly in the neuropeptide expressing, NGF responsive, DRG neurons. Our results show that changes also take place in the IB4 population, possibly driven by members of the LIF family of neuropoietic cytokines. In addition, the presence of Reg-2 in central axon terminals implicates Reg-2 as a possible modulator of second order dorsal horn cells.

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