Pain is one of the hallmarks of inflammation. Opioid receptors mediate antipain responses in both the peripheral nervous system and CNS. In the present study, pretreatment of CCR1:μ-opioid receptor/HEK293 cells with CCL3 (MIP-1α) induced internalization of μ-opioid receptors and severely impaired the μ-opioid receptor-mediated inhibition of cAMP accumulation. Immunohistochemical staining showed that CCR1 and μ-opioid receptors were coexpressed on small to medium diameter neurons in rat dorsal root ganglion. Analysis of ligand-induced calcium flux showed that both types of receptors were functional. Pretreatment of neurons with CCL3 exhibited an impaired [D-Ala 2,N-MePhe4,Gly-o15]enkephalin-elicited calcium response, indicative of the heterologous desensitization of μ-opioid receptors. Other chemokines, such as CCL2, CCL5, and CXCL8, exhibited similar inhibitory effects. Our data indicate that proinflammatory chemokines are capable of desensitizing μ-opioid receptors on peripheral sensory neurons, providing a novel potential mechanism for peripheral inflammation-induced hyperalgesia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy