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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov 3;106(44):18820-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0905415106. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Activation of TRPV1 in the spinal cord by oxidized linoleic acid metabolites contributes to inflammatory hyperalgesia.

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  • 1Departments of Endodontics and Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) plays a major role in hyperalgesia and allodynia and is expressed both in the peripheral and central nervous systems (CNS). However, few studies have evaluated mechanisms by which CNS TRPV1 mediates hyperalgesia and allodynia after injury. We hypothesized that activation of spinal cord systems releases endogenous TRPV1 agonists that evoke the development of mechanical allodynia by this receptor. Using in vitro superfusion, the depolarization of spinal cord triggered the release of oxidized linoleic acid metabolites, such as 9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (9-HODE) that potently activated spinal TRPV1, leading to the development of mechanical allodynia. Subsequent calcium imaging and electrophysiology studies demonstrated that synthetic oxidized linoleic acid metabolites, including 9-HODE, 13-HODE, and 9 and 13-oxoODE, comprise a family of endogenous TRPV1 agonists. In vivo studies demonstrated that intrathecal application of these oxidized linoleic acid metabolites rapidly evokes mechanical allodynia. Finally, intrathecal neutralization of 9- and 13-HODE by antibodies blocks CFA-evoked mechanical allodynia. These data collectively reveal a mechanism by which an endogenous family of lipids activates TRPV1 in the spinal cord, leading to the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia. These findings may integrate many pain disorders and provide an approach for developing analgesic drugs.

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