Activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor by axotomy, through downstream p38 in dorsal root ganglion, contributes to neuropathic pain

H Yamanaka, K Obata, K Kobayashi, Y Dai, T Fukuoka, K Noguchi
Neuroscience 2007 November 30, 150 (1): 202-11
The possible involvement of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) activation in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) was examined following peripheral nerve injury in the rat. Ligation of the sciatic nerve down-regulated FGFR2, -3 and -4 mRNA; however, the expression of FGFR1 mRNA showed no change. Activation of FGFR was examined by immunohistochemistry using an antibody of the phosphorylated form of FGFR1-4. Ligation of the sciatic nerve produced phosphorylation of FGFR in the L4 and 5 DRG ipsilateral to the injury, starting at 3 days after the lesion and persisting for more than 30 days. Substantial activation of FGFR was observed, mainly in unmyelinated small DRG neurons that co-expressed phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Continuous intrathecal infusion of the FGFR1 inhibitor, 3-[3-(2-carboxyethyl)-4-methylpyrrol-2-methylidenyl]-2-indolinone, reduced p38 MAPK phosphorylation in the DRG and pain-related behaviors in the partial sciatic nerve model rat without affecting on the activation of spinal glia cells (microglia and astrocyte). In the injured small DRG neurons, activation of FGFR1 may contribute to the generation of neuropathic pain by activating p38 MAPK.

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