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Pain. 2014 Jun;155(6):1150-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.03.003. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Differential distribution of PI3K isoforms in spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia: potential roles in acute inflammatory pain.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Neuralstem Inc., Rockville, MD, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Electronic address:


PI3-kinases (PI3Ks) participate in nociception within spinal cord, dorsal root ganglion (DRG), and peripheral nerves. To extend our knowledge, we immunohistochemically stained for each of the 4 class I PI3K isoforms along with several cell-specific markers within the lumbar spinal cord, DRG, and sciatic nerve of naive rats. Intrathecal and intraplantar isoform specific antagonists were given as pretreatments before intraplantar carrageenan; pain behavior was then assessed over time. The α-isoform was localized to central terminals of primary afferent fibers in spinal cord laminae IIi to IV as well as to neurons in ventral horn and DRG. The PI3Kβ isoform was the only class I isoform seen in dorsal horn neurons; it was also observed in DRG, Schwann cells, and axonal paranodes. The δ-isoform was found in spinal cord white matter oligodendrocytes and radial astrocytes, and the γ-isoform was seen in a subpopulation of IB4-positive DRG neurons. No isoform co-localized with microglial markers or satellite cells in naive tissue. Only the PI3Kβ antagonist, but none of the other antagonists, had anti-allodynic effects when administered intrathecally; coincident with reduced pain behavior, this agent completely blocked paw carrageenan-induced dorsal horn 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor trafficking to plasma membranes. Intraplantar administration of the γ-antagonist prominently reduced pain behavior. These data suggest that each isoform displays specificity with regard to neuronal type as well as to specific tissues. Furthermore, each PI3K isoform has a unique role in development of nociception and tissue inflammation.


Allodynia; Carrageenan; GluA1 trafficking; Inflammation; PI3Kinase; Schwann cell

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