Hyperalgesic priming (type II) induced by repeated opioid exposure: maintenance mechanisms

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We previously developed a model of opioid-induced neuroplasticity in the peripheral terminal of the nociceptor that could contribute to opioid-induced hyperalgesia, type II hyperalgesic priming. Repeated administration of mu-opioid receptor (MOR) agonists, such as DAMGO, at the peripheral terminal of the nociceptor, induces long-lasting plasticity expressed, prototypically as opioid-induced hyperalgesia and prolongation of prostaglandin E2–induced hyperalgesia. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of type II priming. Opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone, induced hyperalgesia in DAMGO-primed paws. When repeatedly injected, naloxone-induced hyperalgesia, and hyperalgesic priming, supporting the suggestion that maintenance of priming involves changes in MOR signaling. However, the knockdown of MOR with oligodeoxynucleotide antisense did not reverse priming. Mitogen-activated protein kinase and focal adhesion kinase, which are involved in the Src signaling pathway, previously implicated in type II priming, also inhibited the expression, but not maintenance of priming. However, when Src and mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors were coadministered, type II priming was reversed, in male rats. A second model of priming, latent sensitization, induced by complete Freund's adjuvant was also reversed, in males. In females, the inhibitor combination was only able to inhibit the expression and maintenance of DAMGO-induced priming when knockdown of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 30 (GPR30) in the nociceptor was performed. These findings demonstrate that the maintenance of DAMGO-induced type II priming, and latent sensitization is mediated by an interaction between, Src and MAP kinases, which in females is GPR30 dependent.

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