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Elevated Fractalkine (CX3CL1) Levels in the Trigeminal Ganglion Mechanically Sensitize Temporalis Muscle Nociceptors

Abstract

It has been proposed that after nerve injury or tissue inflammation, fractalkine (CX3CL1) released from dorsal root ganglion neurons acts on satellite glial cells (SGCs) through CX3C receptor 1 (CX3CR1) to induce neuroplastic changes. The existence and importance of fractalkine/CX3CR1 signaling in the trigeminal ganglia has not yet been clarified. This study investigated (1) whether trigeminal ganglion neurons that innervate temporalis muscle and their associated SGCs contain fractalkine and/or express CX3CR1, (2) if intraganglionic injection of fractalkine increases the mechanical sensitivity of temporalis muscle afferent fibers, (3) whether complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammation of the temporalis muscle alters the expression of fractalkine or its receptor in the trigeminal ganglion, and (4) if intraganglionic administration of CX3CR1 antibodies alters afferent mechanical sensitivity. Immunohistochemistry and in vivo electrophysiological recordings in male and female rats were used to address these questions. It was found that ∼50 % of temporalis ganglion neurons and ∼25 % of their associated SGCs express CX3CR1, while only neurons expressed fractalkine. Temporalis muscle inflammation increased the expression of fractalkine, but only in male rats. Intraganglionic injection of fractalkine (25 g/ml; 3 μl) induced prolonged afferent mechanical sensitization. Intraganglionic injection of CX3CR1 antibody increased afferent mechanical threshold, but this effect was greater in controls than in rats with CFA-induced muscle inflammation. These findings raise the possibility that basal fractalkine signalling within the trigeminal ganglion plays an important role in mechanical sensitivity of masticatory muscle sensory afferent fibers and that inhibition of CX3CR1 signaling within the trigeminal ganglia may induce analgesia through a peripheral mechanism.

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Acknowledgment

This research was supported by a 2010 Sapere Aude grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research to PG.

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Correspondence to Parisa Gazerani.

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Cairns, B.E., O’Brien, M., Dong, XD. et al. Elevated Fractalkine (CX3CL1) Levels in the Trigeminal Ganglion Mechanically Sensitize Temporalis Muscle Nociceptors. Mol Neurobiol 54, 3695–3706 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-016-9935-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-016-9935-x

Keywords

  • Fractalkine
  • Trigeminal ganglion
  • Temporalis muscle
  • Myositis
  • Sensory afferent fibers