Neuropathic pain is a common chronic pain condition with major impact on quality of life. However, its physiopathologic mechanism remains unknown and pain management is still a challenge. Accumulating evidence indicated that C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) played a critical role in the process of pain. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate whether intervertebral foramen intervertebral foramen injection of CXCR4 antagonist, plerixafor, was able to relieve neuropathic pain and explore the possible underlying mechanism. Chronic compression of the dorsal root ganglion (CCD) was established as a typical model of neuropathic pain. The results indicated that CCD induced multiple pain-related behaviors and the expression of CXCR4, Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 was significantly increased in compressed dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Knocking down CXCR4 expression could significantly reduce neuropathic pain and intervertebral foramen plerixafor injection (IVFP) dramatically decreased the up-regulation of Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 and attenuated neuropathic pain. The analgesic duration of IVFP was maintained at least for 24 h which was much longer than intervertebral foramen injection of Nav1.8 blocker and local anesthetics. Therefore, our study provided evidence that IVFP could reduce the expression of Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 in DRG neurons which might contribute to, at least in part, the analgesic effect of plerixafor on CCD-induced neuropathic pain. It is concluded that IVFP was an effective and applicable treatment approach for neuropathic pain.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.