Reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulate AMPA receptor phosphorylation and cell-surface localization in concert with pain-related behavior


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Abstract

SummaryRemoval of reactive oxygen species leads to reduced AMPA receptor phosphorylation in concert with decreased GluA1 cell-surface localization and pain-related behavior.Sensitization of dorsal horn neurons (DHNs) in the spinal cord is dependent on pain-related synaptic plasticity and causes persistent pain. The DHN sensitization is mediated by a signal transduction pathway initiated by the activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDA-Rs). Recent studies have shown that elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phosphorylation-dependent trafficking of GluA2 subunit of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptors (AMPA-Rs) are a part of the signaling pathway for DHN sensitization. However, the relationship between ROS and AMPA-R phosphorylation and trafficking is not known. Thus, this study investigated the effects of ROS scavengers on the phosphorylation and cell-surface localization of GluA1 and GluA2. Intrathecal NMDA- and intradermal capsaicin-induced hyperalgesic mice were used for this study since both pain models share the NMDA-R activation-dependent DHN sensitization in the spinal cord. Our behavioral, biochemical, and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that: 1) NMDA-R activation in vivo increased the phosphorylation of AMPA-Rs at GluA1 (S818, S831, and S845) and GluA2 (S880) subunits; 2) NMDA-R activation in vivo increased cell-surface localization of GluA1 but decreased that of GluA2; and 3) reduction of ROS levels by ROS scavengers PBN (N-tert-butyl-α-phenylnitrone) or TEMPOL (4-hydroxy-2, 2, 6, 6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl) reversed these changes in AMPA-Rs, as well as pain-related behavior. Given that AMPA-R trafficking to the cell surface and synapse is regulated by NMDA-R activation-dependent phosphorylation of GluA1 and GluA2, our study suggests that the ROS-dependent changes in the phosphorylation and cell-surface localization of AMPA-Rs are necessary for DHN sensitization and thus, pain-related behavior. We further suggest that ROS reduction will ameliorate these molecular changes and pain.

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