Academic Article


  • 2019

Introduction: Lumbar radicular pain after disk herniation is associated with local release of many inflammatory molecules from nucleus pulposus (NP) cells leaking out of the intervertebral disk. Here, we have used a rat model to investigate the role of epiregulin (EREG), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family, in this process. Methods: A protein immunoassay was chosen to confirm the release of EREG from the NP tissue. Single unit recordings were used to demonstrate the effect of recombinant EREG applied onto the dorsal nerve roots in vivo. Intracellular responses induced by recombinant EREG were studied in cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells by phosphoprotein assay. Changes in EGF receptor expression induced by NP in the DRG were examined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: The protein immunoassay showed that EREG was released from the NP tissue. Moreover, application of EREG onto the spinal dorsal nerve roots induced a decrease in the evoked responses, but an increase in spontaneous activity in the dorsal horn neurons. Interestingly, the EREG activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in the DRG, a pathway previously linked to cellular growth, proliferation, and tissue regeneration. An NP-induced upregulation of the EGF receptor HER3 in the DRG...

Kongstorp, Mette; Schjølberg, Tiril; Jacobsen, Daniel Pitz; Haugen, Fred; Gjerstad, Johannes
Pain 4(2)
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