Antihyperalgesic effect of CB1 receptor activation involves the modulation of P2X3 receptor in the primary afferent neuron
Cannabinoid system is a potential target for pain control. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) activation play a role in the analgesic effect of cannabinoids once it is expressed in primary afferent neurons. This study investigates whether the anti-hyperalgesic effect of CB1 receptor activation involves P2X3 receptor in primary afferent neurons. Mechanical hyperalgesia was evaluated by electronic von Frey test. Cannabinoid effect was evaluated using anandamide or ACEA, a non-selective or a selective CB1 receptor agonists, respectively; AM251, a CB1 receptor antagonist, and antisense ODN for CB1 receptor. Calcium imaging assay was performed to evaluated α,β-meATP-responsive cultured DRG neurons pretreated with ACEA. Anandamide or ACEA administered in peripheral tissue reduced the carrageenan-induced mechanical hyperalgesia. The reduction in the carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia induced by ACEA was completely reversed by administration of AM251 as well as by the intrathecal treatment with antisense ODN for CB1 receptor. Also, ACEA reduced the mechanical hyperalgesia induced by bradykinin and by α,β-meATP, a P2X3 receptor non-selective agonist, but not by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and chemokine-induced chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1). Finally, CB1 receptors are co-localized with P2X3 receptors in DRG small-diameter neurons and the treatment with ACEA reduced the number of α,β-meATP-responsive cultured DRG neurons. Our data suggest that the analgesic effect of CB1 receptor activation is mediated by a negative modulation of the P2X3 receptor in the primary afferent neurons.