Indexed on: 19 Mar '14Published on: 19 Mar '14Published in: PAIN®
While raised levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) have been observed in patients with chronic muscle pain, direct evidence for its role as an algogen in skeletal muscle is still lacking. In the rat, MCP-1 induces a dose-dependent mechanical hyperalgesia lasting for up to 6weeks. Following recovery, rats exhibited a markedly prolonged hyperalgesia to an intramuscular injection of prostaglandin E2, hyperalgesic priming. Intrathecal pretreatment with isolectin B4 (IB4)-saporin, which selectively destroys IB4-positive (IB4+) nociceptors, markedly decreased MCP-1-induced hyperalgesia and prevented the subsequent development of priming. To evaluate the involvement of MCP-1 in stress-induced chronic pain we administered, intrathecally, antisense (AS) or mismatch oligodeoxynucleotides directed against CCR2 (the canonical receptor for MCP-1) mRNA, during the exposure to water-avoidance stress, a model of stress-induced persistent muscle pain. The AS treatment attenuated this hyperalgesia, whereas IB4-saporin abolished water-avoidance stress-induced muscle hyperalgesia and prevented stress-induced hyperalgesic priming. These results indicate that MCP-1 induces persistent muscle hyperalgesia and a state of latent chronic sensitization to other algogens, by action on its cognate receptor on IB4+ nociceptors. Because MCP-1 also contributes to stress-induced widespread chronic muscle pain, it should be considered as a player in chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes.