Crotalphine modulates microglia M1/M2 phenotypes and induces spinal analgesia mediated by opioid-cannabinoid systems
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Pain is a worldwide public health problem and its treatment is still a challenge since clinically available drugs do not completely reverse chronic painful states or induce undesirable effects. Crotalphine is a 14 amino acids synthetic peptide that induces a potent and long-lasting analgesic effect on acute and chronic pain models, peripherally mediated by the endogenous release of dynorphin A and the desensitization of the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) receptor. However, the effects of crotalphine on the central nervous system (CNS) and the signaling pathway have not been investigated. Thus, the central effect of crotalphine was evaluated on the partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL)-induced chronic neuropathic pain model. Crotalphine (100 µg/kg, p.o.)-induced analgesia on the 14th day after surgery lasting up to 24 h after administration. This effect was prevented by intrathecal administration of CB1 (AM251) or CB2 (AM630) cannabinoid receptor antagonists. Besides that, crotalphine-induced analgesia was reversed by CTOP, nor-BNI, and naltrindole, antagonists of mu, kappa, and delta-opioid receptors, respectively, and also by the specific antibodies for β-endorphin, dynorphin-A, and met-enkephalin. Likewise, the analgesic effect of crotalphine was blocked by the intrathecal administration of minocycline, an inhibitor of microglial activation and proliferation. Additionally, crotalphine decreased the PSNL-induced IL-6 release in the spinal cord. Importantly, in vitro, crotalphine inhibited LPS-induced CD86 expression and upregulated CD206 expression in BV-2 cells, demonstrating a polarization of microglial cells towards the M2 phenotype. These results demonstrated that crotalphine, besides activating opioid and cannabinoid analgesic systems, impairs central neuroinflammation, confirming the neuromodulatory mechanism involved in the crotalphine analgesic effect.
Lopes FSR, Giardini AC, Sant´Anna MBM, Kimura LF, Búfalo MC, Vigerelli H, et al. Crotalphine modulates microglia M1/M2 phenotypes and induces spinal analgesia mediated by opioid-cannabinoid systems. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep; 23(19):11571. doi:10.3390/ijms231911571.
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