Overexpression of Cav3.2 T-type Ca2+ channels in L4 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) participates in neuropathic pain after L5 spinal nerve cutting (L5SNC) in rats. The L5SNC-induced neuropathic pain also involves high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a damage-associated molecular pattern protein, and its target, the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE). We thus studied the molecular mechanisms for the L5SNC-induced Cav3.2 overexpression as well as neuropathic pain in rats by focusing on; 1) possible involvement of early growth response 1 (Egr-1), known to regulate transcriptional expression of Cav3.2, and ubiquitin-specific protease 5 (USP5) that protects Cav3.2 from proteasomal degradation, and 2) possible role of HMGB1/RAGE as an upstream signal. Protein levels of Cav3.2 as well as Egr-1 in L4 DRG significantly increased in the early (day 6) and persistent (day 14) phases of neuropathy after L5SNC, while USP5 protein in L4 DRG did not increase on day 6, but day 14. An anti-HMGB1-neutralizing antibody or a low molecular weight heparin, a RAGE antagonist, prevented the development of neuropathic pain and upregulation of Egr-1 and Cav3.2 in L4 DRG after L5SNC. L5SNC increased macrophages accumulating in the sciatic nerves, and the cytoplasm/nuclear ratio of immunoreactive HMGB1 in those macrophages. Our findings suggest that L5SNC-induced Cav3.2 overexpression in L4 DRG and neuropathic pain involves Egr-1 upregulation downstream of the macrophage-derived HMGB1/RAGE pathway, and that the delayed upregulation of USP5 might contribute to the persistent Cav3.2 overexpression and neuropathy.
- Ca3.2 T-type calcium channel
- Early growth response 1 (Egr-1)
- High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)
- Neuropathic pain
- Receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE)
- Ubiquitin-specific protease 5 (USP5)
ASJC Scopus subject areas