Interleukin 6 decreases nociceptor expression of the potassium channel KV1.4 in a rat model of hand–arm vibration syndrome


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Abstract

Chronic muscle pain is a prominent symptom of the hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), an occupational disease induced by exposure to vibrating power tools, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that vibration induces an interleukin 6 (IL-6)-mediated downregulation of the potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily A member 4 (KV1.4) in nociceptors leading to muscle pain. Adult male rats were submitted to a protocol of mechanical vibration of the right hind limb. Twenty-four hours after vibration, muscle hyperalgesia was observed, concomitant to increased levels of IL-6 in the gastrocnemius muscle and decreased expression of KV1.4 in the dorsal root ganglia. Local injection of neutralizing antibodies against IL-6 attenuated the muscle hyperalgesia induced by vibration, whereas antisense knockdown of this channel in the dorsal root ganglia mimicked the muscle hyperalgesia observed in the model of HAVS. Finally, knockdown of the IL-6 receptor signaling subunit glycoprotein 130 (gp130) attenuated both vibration-induced muscle hyperalgesia and downregulation of KV1.4. These results support the hypothesis that IL-6 plays a central role in the induction of muscle pain in HAVS. This likely occurs through intracellular signaling downstream to the IL-6 receptor subunit gp130, which decreases the expression of KV1.4 in nociceptors.

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