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Cell Rep. 2013 Oct 31;5(2):378-88. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.09.013. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

TAFA4, a chemokine-like protein, modulates injury-induced mechanical and chemical pain hypersensitivity in mice.

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1
Aix-Marseille-Université, CNRS, Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille, UMR 7288, case 907, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.

Abstract

C-low-threshold mechanoreceptors (C-LTMRs) are unique among C-unmyelinated primary sensory neurons. These neurons convey two opposite aspects of touch sensation: a sensation of pleasantness, and a sensation of injury-induced mechanical pain. Here, we show that TAFA4 is a specific marker of C-LTMRs. Genetic labeling in combination with electrophysiological recordings show that TAFA4+ neurons have intrinsic properties of mechano-nociceptors. TAFA4-null mice exhibit enhanced mechanical and chemical hypersensitivity following inflammation and nerve injury as well as increased excitability of spinal cord lamina IIi neurons, which could be reversed by intrathecal or bath application of recombinant TAFA4 protein. In wild-type C57/Bl6 mice, intrathecal administration of TAFA4 strongly reversed carrageenan-induced mechanical hypersensitivity, suggesting a potent analgesic role of TAFA4 in pain relief. Our data provide insights into how C-LTMR-derived TAFA4 modulates neuronal excitability and controls the threshold of somatic sensation.

PMID:
24139797
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2013.09.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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