Macrophage-T cell interactions mediate neuropathic pain through the glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor ligand system [Immunology]

March 18th, 2015 by Kobayashi, Y., Kiguchi, N., Fukazawa, Y., Saika, F., Maeda, T., Kishioka, S.

Peripheral neuroinflammation caused by activated immune cells can provoke neuropathic pain. Herein, we investigate the actions of macrophages and T cells through glucocorticoid-induced tumor neurosis factor receptor ligand (GITRL) and its receptor (GITR) in neuropathic pain. After partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSL) in enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-chimeric mice generated by the transplantation of eGFP+ bone marrow cells, eGFP+ macrophages and T cells markedly migrated to the injured site after PSL. Administration of agents to deplete macrophages (liposome-clodronate and Clophosome-A™) or T cells (anti-CD4 antibody and FTY720) could suppress PSL-induced thermal hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia. The expression levels of the co-stimulatory molecules GITRL and GITR were increased on infiltrating macrophages and T cells, respectively. The perineural injection of GITRL neutralizing antibody that could inhibit the function of the GITRL-GITR pathway attenuated PSL-induced neuropathic pain. Additionally, the induction of inflammatory cytokines and the accumulation of GITR+ T cells in the injured SCN were prevented after macrophage depletion by Clophosome-A™. In conclusion, GITRL expressed on macrophages drives cytokine release and T cell activation, resulting in neuropathic pain via GITR-dependent actions. The GITRL-GITR pathway might represent a novel target for the treatment of neuropathic pain.