Spinal Sensitization Mechanisms Promoting Pain: Gabaergic Disinhibition and Pkmζ-Mediated Plasticity
AuthorAsiedu, Marina N.
AdvisorPrice, Theodore J.
Dussor, Gregory O.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAs a major public health problem affecting more that 76.5 million Americans, chronic pain is one main reason why people seek medical attention. It is a pathological nervous system disorder that persists for months or years. Sensitization of nociceptive neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord is crucial in the development of allodynia and hyperalgesia. The work presented in this thesis will focus on spinal protein kinase M zeta (PKMζ)-mediated plasticity and GABAergic disinhibition as spinal amplification mechanisms that orchestrate persistent changes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. As a result of central sensitization following peripheral nerve injruy, GABAergic disinhibition occurs due to an alteration in Cl- homeostasis via reduced KCC2 expression and function. Intrathecal administration of acetazolamide (ACT), a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, attenuated neuropathic allodynia and spinal co-adminitation of ACT and midazolam (MZL), an allosteric modulator of the benzodiazepine class of GABAA receptors, synergistically inhibited neuropathic allodynia. Further studies concerning the impact of altered Cl-homeostasis via reduced KCC2-mediated Cl-extrusion capacity on the analgesic efficacy and potency of GABAA receptor agonist and allosteric modulators revealed that there is a differential regulation of the agonists and allosteric modulators at the GABAA receptor complex when Cl-homeostasis is altered. Another spinal amplification mechanism leading to central sensitization is PKMζ-mediated spinal LTP. In model of persistent nociceptive sensitization, allodynia induced by IL-6 injection or plantar incision was abolished by both the inhibition of protein translation machinery and PKMζ inhibitor, ZIP. However, only PKMζ inhibition prevented the enhanced pain hypersensitivity precipitated by a subsequent stimulus after the initial hypersensitivity had resolved, asserting that spinal PKMζ underlies the maintenance mechanisms of persistent nociceptive sensitization. Also, these results confirmed that the initiation mechanisms of persistent sensitization parallel LTP initiation mechanisms and the maintenance mechanisms of persistent sensitization parallel LTP maintenance mechanisms. Taken together, these results indicate that these amplification mechanisms drive a chronic persistent state in these models such that inhibition of these spinal amplication mechanisms will serve as an effective approach in the quenching chronic pain hypersensitivity in chronic pain models.
Degree ProgramGraduate College