Peripheral Group I Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Activation Leads to Muscle Mechanical Hyperalgesia Through TRPV1 Phosphorylation in the Rat

  • Man-Kyo Chung
    Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Jongseok Lee
    Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • John Joseph
    Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Jami Saloman
    Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Jin Y. Ro
    Address reprint requests to Jin Y. Ro, PhD, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, 650 W. Baltimore St., 8-South, Baltimore, MD 21201.
    Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland
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Published:November 01, 2014DOI:


      • Activation of mGlu1/5 leads to phosphorylation of serine-800 of TRPV1 in primary afferents.
      • Peripheral mGlu1/5 activation leads to TRPV1 sensitization and muscle hyperalgesia via PKC.
      • AKAP150 is involved in mGlu1/5-mediated mechanical hyperalgesia in the muscle.


      Elevated glutamate levels within injured muscle play important roles in muscle pain and hyperalgesia. In this study, we hypothesized that protein kinase C (PKC)–dependent TRPV1 phosphorylation contributes to the muscle mechanical hyperalgesia following activation of Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1/5). Mechanical hyperalgesia induced by (R,S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), an mGlu1/5 agonist, in the masseter muscle was attenuated by AMG9810, a specific TRPV1 antagonist. AMG9810 also suppressed mechanical hyperalgesia evoked by pharmacologic activation of PKC. DHPG-induced mechanical hyperalgesia was suppressed by pretreatment with a decoy peptide that disrupted interactions between TRPV1 and A-kinase–anchoring protein (AKAP), which facilitates phosphorylation of TRPV1. In dissociated trigeminal ganglia, DHPG upregulated serine phosphorylation of TRPV1 (S800), during which DHPG-induced mechanical hyperalgesia was prominent. The TRPV1 phosphorylation at S800 was suppressed by a PKC inhibitor. Electrophysiologic measurements in trigeminal ganglion neurons demonstrated that TRPV1 sensitivity was enhanced by pretreatment with DHPG, and this was prevented by a PKC inhibitor, but not by a protein kinase A inhibitor. These results suggest that mGlu1/5 activation in masseter afferents invokes phosphorylation of TRPV1 serine residues including S800, and that phosphorylation-induced sensitization of TRPV1 is involved in masseter mechanical hyperalgesia. These data support a role of TRPV1 as an integrator of glutamate receptor signaling in muscle nociceptors.


      This article demonstrates that activation of mGlu1/5 leads to phosphorylation of a specific TRPV1 residue via PKC and AKAP150 in trigeminal sensory neurons and that functional interactions between glutamate receptors and TRPV1 mediate mechanical hyperalgesia in the muscle tissue.

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