Activation of RAGE/STAT3 pathway by methylglyoxal contributes to spinal central sensitization and persistent pain induced by bortezomib

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Abstract

Bortezomib is a first-line chemotherapeutic drug widely used for multiple myeloma and other nonsolid malignancies. Although bortezomib-induced persistent pain is easily diagnosed in clinic, the pathogenic mechanism remains unclear. Here, we studied this issue with use of a rat model of systemic intraperitoneal administration of bortezomib for consecutive 5 days. Consisted with our previous study, we found that bortezomib treatment markedly induced mechanical allodynia in rats. Furthermore, we first found that bortezomib treatment significantly induced the upregulation of methylglyoxal in spinal dorsal horn of rats. Spinal local application of methylglyoxal also induced mechanical allodynia and central sensitization in normal rats. Moreover, administration of bortezomib upregulated the expression of receptors for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) in dorsal horn. Importantly, intrathecal injection of metformin, a known scavenger of methylglyoxal, significantly attenuated the upregulation of methylglyoxal and RAGE in dorsal horn, central sensitization and mechanical allodynia induced by bortezomib treatment, and blockage of RAGE also prevented the upregulation of p-STAT3, central sensitization and mechanical allodynia induced by bortezomib treatment. In addition, inhibition of STAT3 activity by S3I-201 attenuated bortezomib-induced mechanical allodynia and central sensitization. Local knockdown of STAT3 also ameliorated the mechanical allodynia induced by bortezomib administration. Our results suggest that accumulation of methylglyoxal may activate the RAGE/STAT3 signaling pathway in dorsal horn, and contributes to the spinal central sensitization and persistent pain induced by bortezomib treatment.

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