Critical role of protease-activated receptor 2 activation by mast cell tryptase in the development of postoperative pain.

PMID 23249992


Studies have indicated that nearly half of all surgical patients still have inadequate pain relief. Thus, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms involved in postoperative pain in order to better treat it. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of mast cell degranulation, tryptase and its substrate, the protease-activated receptor 2, in a model of postoperative pain in mice. We evaluated the effect of the compound 48/80 (to cause mast cell mediator depletion), cromoglycate or ketotifen (mast cell stabilizers), gabexate (tryptase inhibitor) or N3-methylbutyryl-N-6-aminohexanoyl-piperazine (protease-activated receptor 2 antagonist) in a postoperative pain model in mice (n = 5-10). Mast cell degranulation and tryptase activity were also evaluated in the operated tissue (n= 5-8). The pre-treatment with compound 48/80 or ketotifen was able to prevent nociception throughout the postoperative hyperalgesia course (until 5 days after surgery), whereas cromoglycate presented a shorter effect (until 1 day). Gabexate or N3-methylbutyryl-N-6-aminohexanoyl-piperazine also produced a short-lasting effect in preventing postoperative nociception. However, neither gabexate, N3-methylbutyryl-N-6-aminohexanoyl-piperazine nor cromoglycate was capable of reversing nociception when administered after incision. Surgery led to early mast cell degranulation on the incised tissue and increased tryptase activity in tissue perfusates. Cromoglycate fully prevented the tryptase release in the perfusate and the compound 48/80 substantially reduced tryptase activity in the incised tissue. Thus, the mast cell degranulation with the subsequent release of tryptase and protease-activated receptor 2 activation are potential targets for the development of novel therapies to prevent, but not reverse, postoperative pain.

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