Journal of neurochemistry

cAMP-dependent protein kinase activated Fyn in spinal dorsal horn to regulate NMDA receptor function during inflammatory pain.

PMID 21054385


Selective inhibition of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor (GluN2BR) in spinal dorsal horn effectively alleviates inflammatory pain, suggesting the up-regulation of GluN2BR function involved in central sensitization. Previous studies have demonstrated that the increase in GluN2BR synaptic expression serves as a key step to enhance GluN2BR function after intradermal injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA). Here, we showed that cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) played an important role in redistributing GluN2BR at synapses, because inhibition of PKA activity impaired GluN2BR accumulation at post-synaptic density (PSD)-enriched fraction in CFA-injected mice, and direct stimulation of PKA in naïve mice mimicked the effect of CFA by recruiting GluN2BR at PSD fraction to evoke pain sensitization. Analysis of PKA-initiated signalings unraveled that PKA was able to activate Src-family protein tyrosine kinases member Fyn, possibly by disrupting Fyn association with its inhibitory partner striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase 61. The active Fyn then promoted GluN2B phosphorylation at Tyr1472, a molecular event known to prevent GluN2BR endocytosis. As a result, pharmacological or genetic manipulation of Fyn activity greatly depressed GluN2BR accumulation at PSD-enriched fraction and ameliorated mechanical allodynia induced by PKA. Our data thus elucidated a critical role of PKA/Fyn/GluN2B signaling in triggering GluN2BR hyperfunction and pain hypersensitivity.