The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) drives pain by inducing the expression of inflammatory mediators; however, its ability to regulate sodium channel 1.7 (Nav1.7), a key driver of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) hypernociception, remains unknown. IL-1β induces cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). We previously showed that PGE2 upregulated trigeminal ganglionic Nav1.7 expression. Satellite glial cells (SGCs) involve in inflammatory pain through glial cytokines. Therefore, we explored here in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) whether IL-1β upregulated Nav1.7 expression and whether the IL-1β located in the SGCs upregulated Nav1.7 expression in the neurons contributing to TMJ inflammatory hypernociception.
We treated rat TG explants with IL-1β with or without inhibitors, including NS398 for COX-2, PF-04418948 for EP2, and H89 and PKI-(6-22)-amide for protein kinase A (PKA), or with adenylate cyclase agonist forskolin, and used real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunohistofluorescence to determine the expressions or locations of Nav1.7, COX-2, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, and IL-1β. We used chromatin immunoprecipitation to examine CREB binding to the Nav1.7 promoter. Finally, we microinjected IL-1β into the TGs or injected complete Freund’s adjuvant into TMJs with or without previous microinjection of fluorocitrate, an inhibitor of SGCs activation, into the TGs, and evaluated nociception and gene expressions. Differences between groups were examined by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) or independent samples t test.
IL-1β upregulated Nav1.7 mRNA and protein expressions in the TG explants, whereas NS398, PF-04418948, H89, or PKI-(6-22)-amide could all block this upregulation, and forskolin could also upregulate Nav1.7 mRNA and protein expressions. IL-1β enhanced CREB binding to the Nav1.7 promoter. Microinjection of IL-1β into the TGs or TMJ inflammation both induced hypernociception of TMJ region and correspondingly upregulated COX-2, phospho-CREB, and Nav1.7 expressions in the TGs. Moreover, microinjection of fluorocitrate into the TGs completely blocked TMJ inflammation-induced activation of SGCs and the upregulation of IL-1β and COX-2 in the SGCs, and phospho-CREB and Nav1.7 in the neurons and alleviated inflammation-induced TMJ hypernociception.
Glial IL-1β upregulated neuronal Nav1.7 expression via the crosstalk between signaling pathways of the glial IL-1β/COX-2/PGE2 and the neuronal EP2/PKA/CREB/Nav1.7 in TG contributing to TMJ inflammatory hypernociception.