Activation of TRPV1 by capsaicin induces functional kinin B(1) receptor in rat spinal cord microglia

Sébastien Talbot, Jenny Pena Dias, Karim Lahjouji, Maurício Reis Bogo, Maria Martha Campos, Pierrette Gaudreau, Réjean Couture
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012 January 20, 9: 16

BACKGROUND: The kinin B(1) receptor (B(1)R) is upregulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxydative stress, which are enhanced by transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) activation. To examine the link between TRPV1 and B(1)R in inflammatory pain, this study aimed to determine the ability of TRPV1 to regulate microglial B(1)R expression in the spinal cord dorsal horn, and the underlying mechanism.

METHODS: B(1)R expression (mRNA, protein and binding sites) was measured in cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal cord in response to TRPV1 activation by systemic capsaicin (1-50 mg/kg, s.c) in rats pre-treated with TRPV1 antagonists (capsazepine or SB-366791), the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), or vehicle. B(1)R function was assessed using a tail-flick test after intrathecal (i.t.) injection of a selective B(1)R agonist (des-Arg(9)-BK), and its microglial localization was investigated by confocal microscopy with the selective fluorescent B(1)R agonist, [Nα-bodipy]-des-Arg(9)-BK. The effect of i.t. capsaicin (1 μg/site) was also investigated.

RESULTS: Capsaicin (10 to 50 mg/kg, s.c.) enhanced time-dependently (0-24h) B(1)R mRNA levels in the lumbar spinal cord; this effect was prevented by capsazepine (10 mg/kg, i.p.; 10 μg/site, i.t.) and SB-366791 (1 mg/kg, i.p.; 30 μg/site, i.t.). Increases of B(1)R mRNA were correlated with IL-1β mRNA levels, and they were significantly less in cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Intrathecal capsaicin (1 μg/site) also enhanced B(1)R mRNA in lumbar spinal cord. NAC (1 g/kg/d × 7 days) prevented B(1)R up-regulation, superoxide anion production and NF-kB activation induced by capsaicin (15 mg/kg). Des-Arg(9)-BK (9.6 nmol/site, i.t.) decreased by 25-30% the nociceptive threshold at 1 min post-injection in capsaicin-treated rats (10-50 mg/kg) while it was without effect in control rats. Des-Arg(9)-BK-induced thermal hyperalgesia was blocked by capsazepine, SB-366791 and by antagonists/inhibitors of B(1)R (SSR240612, 10 mg/kg, p.o.), glutamate NMDA receptor (DL-AP5, 10 μg/site, i.t.), substance P NK-1 receptor (RP-67580, 10 μg/site, i.t.) and nitric oxide synthase (L-NNA, 10 μg/site, i.t.). The B(1)R fluorescent agonist was co-localized with an immunomarker of microglia (Iba-1) in spinal cord dorsal horn of capsaicin-treated rats.

CONCLUSION: This study highlights a new mechanism for B(1)R induction via TRPV1 activation and establishes a link between these two pro-nociceptive receptors in inflammatory pain.

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