Anesthesia and analgesia

The effect of NR2B subunit palmitoylation at the spinal level after chronic dorsal root ganglia compression in rats.

PMID 25089731


The NR2B subunit (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B subunit) regulates the source of pain, and it participates in the formation of central sensitization. Palmitoylation was shown to be involved in the regulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor internalization. In the present study, we investigated the effects of NR2B subunit palmitoylation in a chronic dorsal root ganglia compression (CCD) rat model. Paw mechanical withdrawal threshold and paw withdrawal thermal latency were used to assess mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia after a CCD operation and an intrathecal injection of the inhibitor of palmitoylation (2-bromopalmitate [2-BP]). The acyl-biotinyl exchange method, Western blotting, and coimmunoprecipitation were used to investigate the effects of pain processing and the expression of levels of NR2B palmitoylation and phosphorylation at the spinal level. CCD rats had long-lasting thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, leading to upregulation of the level of NR2B palmitoylation and phosphorylation at the spinal level. An intrathecal treatment with 2-BP on day 14 after CCD surgery markedly improved pain behaviors and downregulated the expression of NR2B palmitoylation and phosphorylation. These data suggest that upregulated NR2B palmitoylation in CCD-induced neuropathic pain and intrathecal injection of 2-BP could reduce pain behaviors and NR2B phosphorylation. Our findings indicate that spinal NR2B palmitoylation is an important component of CCD-induced neuropathic pain, and it might be a potential target for chronic pain therapy.