Microglial Inhibition Influences XCL1/XCR1 Expression and Causes Analgesic Effects in a Mouse Model of Diabetic Neuropathy

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Abstract

Background:

Recent studies indicated the involvement of some chemokines in the development of diabetic neuropathy; however, participation of the chemokine-C-motif ligand (XCL) subfamily remains unknown. The goal of this study was to examine how microglial inhibition by minocycline hydrochloride (MC) influences chemokine-C-motif ligand 1 (XCL1)–chemokine-C-motif receptor 1 (XCR1)/G protein–coupled receptor 5 expression and the development of allodynia/hyperalgesia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathy.

Methods:

The studies were performed on streptozotocin (200 mg/kg, intraperitoneally)-induced mouse diabetic neuropathic pain model and primary glial cell cultures. The MC (30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) was injected two times daily until day 21. XCL1 and its neutralizing antibody were injected intrathecally, and behavior was evaluated with von Frey and cold plate tests. Quantitative analysis of protein expression of glial markers, XCL1, and/or XCR1 was performed by Western blot and visualized by immunofluorescence.

Results:

MC treatment diminished allodynia (0.9 ± 0.1 g; n = 7 vs. 3.8 ± 0.7 g; n = 7) and hyperalgesia (6.5 ± 0.6 s; n = 7 vs. 16.5 ± 1 s; n = 7) in the streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Repeated MC administration prevented microglial activation and inhibited the up-regulation of the XCL1/XCR1 levels. XCL1 administration (10 to 500 ng/5 μl; n = 9) in naive mice enhanced nociceptive transmission, and injections of neutralizing XCL1 (4 to 8 μg/5 μl; n = 10) antibody into the mice with diabetic neuropathic pain diminished allodynia/hyperalgesia. Microglia activation evoked in primary microglial cell cultures resulted in enhanced XCL1 release and XCR1 expression. Additionally, double immunofluorescence indicated the widespread coexpression of XCR1-expressing cells with spinal neurons.

Conclusions:

In diabetic neuropathy, declining levels of XCL1 evoked by microglia inhibition result in the cause of analgesia. The putative mechanism corroborating this finding can be related to lower spinal expression of XCR1 together with the lack of stimulation of these XCR1 receptors, which are localized on neurons.

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