• Activation of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons reverses pathological allodynia resulting from nerve injury or bone cancer

      Watanabe, Moe; Narita, Michiko; Hamada, Yusuke; Yamashita, Akira; Tamura, Hideki; Ikegami, Daigo; Kondo, Takashige; Shinzato, Tatsuto; Shimizu, Takatsune; Fukuchi, Yumi; et al. (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2018-01-22)
      Chronic pain induced by nerve damage due to trauma or invasion of cancer to the bone elicits severe ongoing pain as well as hyperalgesia and allodynia likely reflecting adaptive changes within central circuits that amplify nociceptive signals. The present study explored the possible contribution of the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuit in promoting allodynia related to neuropathic and cancer pain. Mice with ligation of the sciatic nerve or treated with intrafemoral osteosarcoma cells showed allodynia to a thermal stimulus applied to the paw on the injured side. Patch clamp electrophysiology revealed that the intrinsic neuronal excitability of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens (N.Acc.) was significantly reduced in those mice. We used tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-cre mice that were microinjected with adeno-associated virus (AAV) to express channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) to allow optogenetic stimulation of VTA dopaminergic neurons in the VTA or in their N.Acc. terminals. Optogenetic activation of these cells produced a significant but transient anti-allodynic effect in nerve injured or tumor-bearing mice without increasing response thresholds to thermal stimulation in sham-operated animals. Suppressed activity of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons is likely to contribute to decreased inhibition of N.Acc. output neurons and to neuropathic or cancer pain-induced allodynia suggesting strategies for modulation of pathological pain states.
    • A prolactin-dependent sexually dimorphic mechanism of migraine chronification

      Ikegami, Daigo; Navratilova, Edita; Yue, Xu; Moutal, Aubin; Kopruszinski, Caroline M; Khanna, Rajesh; Patwardhan, Amol; Dodick, David W; Porreca, Frank; Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona (SAGE Publications, 2021-09-12)
      Objective: Determination of possible sex differences in mechanisms promoting migraine progression and the contribution of prolactin and the prolactin long (PRLR-L) and short (PRLR-S) receptor isoforms. Background: The majority of patients with chronic migraine and medication overuse headache are female. Prolactin is present at higher levels in women and increases migraine. Prolactin signaling at the PRLR-S selectively sensitizes nociceptors in female rodents, while expression of the PRLR-L is protective. Methods: Medication overuse headache was modeled by repeated sumatriptan administration in male and female mice. Periorbital and hindpaw cutaneous allodynia served as a surrogate of migraine-like pain. PRLR-L and PRLR-S isoforms were measured in the trigeminal ganglion with western blotting. Possible co-localization of PRLR with serotonin 5HT1B and 5HT1D receptors was determined with RNAscope. Cabergoline, a dopamine receptor agonist that inhibits circulating prolactin, was co-administered with sumatriptan. Nasal administration of CRISPR/Cas9 plasmid was used to edit expression of both PRLR isoforms. Results: PRLR was co-localized with 5HT1B or 5HT1D receptors in the ophthalmic region of female trigeminal ganglion. A single injection of sumatriptan increased serum PRL levels in female mice. Repeated sumatriptan promoted cutaneous allodynia in both sexes but down-regulated trigeminal ganglion PRLR-L, without altering PRLR-S, only in females. Co-administration of sumatriptan with cabergoline prevented allodynia and down-regulation of PRLR-L only in females. CRISPR/Cas9 editing of both PRLR isoforms in the trigeminal ganglion prevented sumatriptan-induced periorbital allodynia in females. Interpretation: We identified a sexually dimorphic mechanism of migraine chronification that involves down-regulation of PRLR-L and increased signaling of circulating prolactin at PRLR-S. These studies reveal a previously unrecognized neuroendocrine mechanism linking the hypothalamus to nociceptor sensitization that increases the risk of migraine pain in females and suggest opportunities for novel sex-specific therapies including gene editing through nasal delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 constructs.