Suppression of pancreatitis-related allodynia/hyperalgesia by proteinase-activated receptor-2 in mice

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Proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR2), a receptor activated by trypsin and tryptase, is abundantly expressed in the gastrointestinal tract including the C-fiber terminal, and might play a role in processing of visceral pain. In the present study, we examined and characterized the roles of PAR2 in pancreatitis-related abdominal hyperalgesia/allodynia in mice.Caerulein, administered i.p. once, caused a small increase in abdominal sensitivity to stimulation with von Frey hairs, without causing pancreatitis, in PAR2-knockout (KO) mice, but not wild-type (WT) mice.Caerulein, given hourly six times in total, caused more profound abdominal hyperalgesia/allodynia in PAR2-KO mice, as compared with WT mice, although no significant differences were detected in the severity of pancreatitis between the KO and WT animals.The PAR2-activating peptide, 2-furoyl-LIGRL-NH2, coadministered repeatedly with caerulein six times in total, abolished the caerulein-evoked abdominal hyperalgesia/allodynia in WT, but not PAR2-KO, mice. Repeated doses of 2-furoyl-LIGRL-NH2 moderately attenuated the severity of caerulein-induced pancreatitis in WT animals.Our data from experiments using PAR2-KO mice provide evidence that PAR2 functions to attenuate pancreatitis-related abdominal hyperalgesia/allodynia without affecting pancreatitis itself, although the PAR2AP applied exogenously is not only antinociceptive but also anti-inflammatory.

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