Protease-activated receptor 2 in dorsal root ganglion contributes to peripheral sensitization of bone cancer pain.Eur J Pain. 2014 Mar; 18(3):326-37.EJ
Treating bone cancer pain continues to be a major clinical challenge, and the underlying mechanisms of bone cancer pain remain elusive. Protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) has been reported to be involved in neurogenic inflammation, nociceptive pain and hyperalgesia. Here, we investigated the role of PAR2 in bone cancer pain development.
Expression of PAR2, mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia and neurochemical alterations induced by bone cancer pain were analysed in male, adult C3H/HeJ mice with tumour cell implantation (TCI). To investigate the contribution of PAR2 to bone cancer pain, PAR2 antagonist peptide and PAR2 knockout mice were used.
TCI produced bone cancer-related pain behaviours. Production and persistence of these pain behaviours were well correlated with TCI-induced up-regulation of PAR2 in sciatic nerve and dorsal root ganglia (DRG). PAR2 knockout and spinal administration of PAR2 antagonist peptide prevented and/or reversed bone cancer-related pain behaviours and associated neurochemical changes in DRG and dorsal horn (DH). TCI also induced proteases release in tumour-bearing tibia, sciatic nerve and DRG. Plantar injection of supernatant from sarcoma cells induced PAR2 up-regulation and intracellular calcium [Ca(2+) ]i increase in DRG, and calcitonin gene-related peptide accumulation in DH, as well as significant thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia, which were all in PAR2-dependent manners.
These findings suggest that PAR2 may be a key mediator for peripheral sensitization of bone cancer pain. Inhibiting PAR2 activation, especially during the early phase, may be a new therapy for preventing/suppressing development of bone cancer pain.