Background: Alcohol (EtOH [ethanol]) is an antinociceptive agent, working in part, by reducing sensitivity to painful stimuli. The transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 11 (KLF11), a human diabetes-causing gene that also regulates the neurotransmitter metabolic enzymes monoamine oxidase (MAO), has recently been identified as an EtOH-inducible gene. However, its role in antinociception remains unknown. Consequently, we investigated the function of KLF11 in chronic EtOH-induced antinociception using a genetically engineered knockout mouse model. Methods: Wild-type (Klf11+/+) and KLF11 knockout (Klf11-/-) mice were fed a liquid diet containing EtOH for 28 days with increasing amounts of EtOH from 0% up to a final concentration of 6.4%, representing a final diet containing 36% of calories primarily from EtOH. Control mice from both genotypes were fed liquid diet without EtOH for 28 days. The EtOH-induced antinociceptive effect was determined using the tail-flick test before and after EtOH exposure (on day 29). In addition, the enzyme activity and mRNA levels of MAO A and MAO B were measured by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme assays, respectively. Results: EtOH produced an antinociceptive response to thermal pain in Klf11+/+ mice, as expected. In contrast, deletion of KLF11 in the Klf11-/- mice abolished the EtOH-induced antinociceptive effect. The mRNA and protein levels of KLF11 were significantly increased in the brain prefrontal cortex of Klf11+/+ mice exposed to EtOH compared with control Klf11+/+ mice. Furthermore, MAO enzyme activities were affected differently in Klf11 wild-type versus Klf11 knockout mice exposed to chronic EtOH. Chronic EtOH intake significantly increased MAO B activity in Klf11+/+ mice. Conclusions: The data show KLF11 modulation of EtOH-induced antinociception. The KLF11-targeted MAO B enzyme may contribute more significantly to EtOH-induced antinociception. Thus, this study revealed a new role for the KLF11 gene in the mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive effects of chronic EtOH exposure.
- Antinociceptive Response
- Chronic Ethanol Intake
- Gene Knockout
- Kruppel-Like Factor 11 (Transforming Growth Factor-Beta-Inducible Early Gene 2)
- Monoamine Oxidase