Control of spinal networks within the lamina II of the spinal cord by C-LTMRs fibers : optogenetic and pharmacological approaches Supervisor: Yves Le Feuvre
Control of spinal networks within the lamina II of the spinal cord by C-LTMRs fibers : optogenetic and pharmacological approaches
Supervisor: Yves Le Feuvre – IINS – Team: Central mechanisms of pain sensitization, Team leader: Marc Landry
Pain elaboration results from the integration within dorsal spinal cord of sensory and nociceptive information conveyed by primary afferents. Among these, C low-threshold Mechano Receptors (C-LTMR), expressing the chemokine TAFA4, were identified as modulators of pain. However, mechanisms underlying the control of sensori-nociceptive integration by TAFA4 remains poorly understood. Using in vitro patch clamp recording on spinal cord slices of naïve mice we show that, bath application of TAFA4 induces a decrease in frequency of spontaneous excitatory post synaptic currents (EPSCs). This effect is mirrored by an increase in frequency of spontaneous inhibitory synaptic events (IPSCs). This modulation of synaptic activity is preserved with TTX, indicating that TAFA4 alters synaptic transmission through presynaptic mechanisms. By recruiting high threshold nociceptive fibers, we demonstrate that TAFA4 induces an increase in the paired pulse ratio of evoked synaptic responses in interneurons, and thus, reinforces presynaptic inhibition of nociceptive fibers. We also demonstrate that the effects of TAFA4 on spontaneous and evoked excitatory transmission are blocked by antagonists of GABA receptors, indicating that -C-LTMRs mainly interact with GABAergic neurons. Moreover, Electron Microscopy provides evidence of direct synaptic contacts between C-LTMRs and GABAergic terminals in lamina IIi. To further characterize the effects of TAFA4 on pain transmission, we inflamed mice using Complete Freund Adjuvant (CFA). In CFA mice, the effect of TAFA4 on EPSC and IPSC frequency is preserved. We find that in CFA mice, TAFA4 decreases the neuronal discharge recorded in vivo following a nociceptive mechanical stimulation in inflamed hindpaw. This effect is blocked by an injection of GABA receptors antagonists. By performing Von Frey test on inflamed mice, we show that intrathecal injection of TAFA4 provides anti-allodynic effects blocked by GABA receptors antagonists. We propose that C-LTMR directly contact GABAergic interneurons in dorsal horn, and, through the liberation of TAFA4 reinforce inhibitory synaptic activity which may in turn promote their anti-nociceptive activity. Furthermore, TAFA4 promotes microglial retraction in CFA inflamed animals, together with an increase in the number of inhibitory synapses on lamina IIi somata. Altogether, these results identify GABAergic interneurons as the first integration relay for C-LTMRs and highlight a novel interplay between sensory neurons, microglial cells and spinal interneurons leading to a fine tuning of inhibitory activity and nociceptive transmission in pathological conditions.