Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α mediates acute effects of palmitoylethanolamide on sensory neurons

Iryna A. Khasabova, Yee Xiong, Lia G. Coicou, Daniele Piomelli, Virginia Seybold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The amplitude of the depolarization-evoked Ca2+ transient is larger in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from tumor-bearing mice compared with that of neurons from naive mice, and the change is mimicked by coculturing DRG neurons with the fibrosarcoma cells used to generate the tumors (Khasabova et al., 2007). The effect of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a ligand for the peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptorα (PPARα), was determined on the evoked-Ca2+ transient in the coculture condition. The level of PEA was reduced in DRG cells from tumor-bearing mice as well as those cocultured with fibrosarcoma cells. Pretreatment with PEA, a synthetic PPARα agonist (GW7647), or ARN077, an inhibitor of the enzyme that hydrolyzes PEA, acutely decreased the amplitude of the evoked Ca2+ transient in small DRG neurons cocultured with fibrosarcoma cells. The PPARα antagonist GW6471 blocked the effect of each. In contrast, thePPARα agonist was without effect in the control condition, but the antagonist increased the amplitude of the Ca2+ transient, suggesting that PPARα receptors are saturated by endogenous ligand under basal conditions. Effects of drugs on mechanical sensitivity in vivo paralleled their effects on DRG neurons in vitro. Local injection of ARN077 decreased mechanical hyperalgesia in tumor-bearing mice, and the effect was blocked by GW6471. These data support the conclusion that the activity of DRG neurons is rapidly modulated by PEA through a PPARα-dependent mechanism. Moreover, agents that increase the activity of PPARα may provide a therapeutic strategy to reduce tumor-evoked pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12735-12743
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 12 2012

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