October 20, 2020

TRPV1 feed-forward sensitisation depends on COX2 upregulation in primary sensory neurons

Increased activity and excitability (sensitisation) of a series of molecules including the transient receptor potential ion channel, vanilloid subfamily, member 1 (TRPV1) in pain-sensing (nociceptive) primary sensory neurons are pivotal for developing pathological pain experiences in tissue injuries. TRPV1 sensitisation is induced and maintained by two major mechanisms; post-translational and transcriptional changes in TRPV1 induced by inflammatory mediators produced and accumulated in injured tissues, and TRPV1 activation-induced feed-forward signalling. The latter mechanism includes synthesis of TRPV1 agonists within minutes, and upregulation of various receptors functionally linked to TRPV1 within a few hours, in nociceptive primary sensory neurons. Here, we report that a novel mechanism, which contributes to TRPV1 activation-induced TRPV1-sensitisation within ~30 minutes in at least ~30% of TRPV1-expressing cultured murine primary sensory neurons, is mediated through upregulation in cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) expression and increased synthesis of a series of COX2 products. These findings highlight the importance of feed-forward signalling in sensitisation, and the value of inhibiting COX2 activity to control pain, in nociceptive primary sensory neurons in tissue injuries.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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