Upregulation of adrenomedullin in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia in the early phase of CFA-induced inflammation in rats

Yanguo Hong, Yushan Liu, Jean-Guy Chabot, Alain Fournier, Rémi Quirion
Pain 2009, 146 (1): 105-13
Adrenomedullin (AM), a member of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) family, has been demonstrated to be a pronociceptive mediator [28]. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of AM in a model of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammatory pain. Injection of CFA, but not of saline, in the unilateral hindpaw produced an increase in the expression of AM-like immunoreactivity (AM-IR) in laminae I-II of the spinal cord as well as in small- and medium-sized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons at 48 h. The content of AM in DRG on the side ipsilateral to CFA injection started to increase at 4 h and remained at high levels at 24 and 48 h. The selective antagonist of AM receptors, AM(22-52), administered intrathecally (i.t.) 24 h after CFA injection inhibited inflammation-associated hyperalgesia in a dose-dependent manner (2, 5 and 10 nmol). Impressively, this anti-hyperalgesic effect lasted for at least 24 h. I.t. administration of AM(22-52) (10 nmol) also reversed CFA-induced increase in AM-IR in the spinal dorsal horn and DRG. Furthermore, blockade of AM receptors abolished CFA-induced changes in the expression and content of CGRP-like immunoreactivity in these regions. Taken together, our results suggest that the upregulation of AM in DRG neurons contributes to the development of inflammatory pain, and this effect is mediated, at least in part, by enhancing the expression and release of CGRP. Blocking AM receptor downstream signaling effects using antagonists has the potential of relieving pain following the induction of inflammation.

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