Publications by authors named "Serena Quarta"

10 Publications

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Rho GTPases in the Physiology and Pathophysiology of Peripheral Sensory Neurons.

Cells 2019 06 15;8(6). Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Biomedical Physics, Medical University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Numerous experimental studies demonstrate that the Ras homolog family of guanosine triphosphate hydrolases (Rho GTPases) Ras homolog family member A (RhoA), Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) and cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) are important regulators in somatosensory neurons, where they elicit changes in the cellular cytoskeleton and are involved in diverse biological processes during development, differentiation, survival and regeneration. This review summarizes the status of research regarding the expression and the role of the Rho GTPases in peripheral sensory neurons and how these small proteins are involved in development and outgrowth of sensory neurons, as well as in neuronal regeneration after injury, inflammation and pain perception. In sensory neurons, Rho GTPases are activated by various extracellular signals through membrane receptors and elicit their action through a wide range of downstream effectors, such as Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) or mixed-lineage kinase (MLK). While RhoA is implicated in the assembly of stress fibres and focal adhesions and inhibits neuronal outgrowth through growth cone collapse, Rac1 and Cdc42 promote neuronal development, differentiation and neuroregeneration. The functions of Rho GTPases are critically important in the peripheral somatosensory system; however, their signalling interconnections and partially antagonistic actions are not yet fully understood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells8060591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627758PMC
June 2019

Impaired mechanical, heat, and cold nociception in a murine model of genetic TACE/ADAM17 knockdown.

FASEB J 2019 03 26;33(3):4418-4431. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria; and.

TNF-α-converting enzyme, a member of the ADAM (A disintegrin and metalloproteinase) protease family and also known as ADAM17, regulates inflammation and regeneration in health and disease. ADAM17 targets are involved in pain development and hypersensitivity in animal models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. However, the role of ADAM17 in the pain pathway is largely unknown. Therefore, we used the hypomorphic ADAM17 (ADAM17) mouse model to investigate the importance of ADAM17 in nociceptive behavior, morphology, and function of primary afferent nociceptors. ADAM17 mice were hyposensitive to noxious stimulation, showing elevated mechanical thresholds as well as impaired heat and cold sensitivity. Despite these differences, skin thickness and innervation were comparable to controls. Although dorsal root ganglia of ADAM17 mice exhibited normal morphology of peptidergic and nonpeptidergic neurons, a small but significant reduction in the number of isolectin β-4-positive neurons was observed. Functional electrical properties of unmyelinated nociceptors showed differences in resting membrane potential, afterhyperpolarization, and firing patterns in specific subpopulations of sensory neurons in ADAM17 mice. However, spinal cord morphology and microglia activity in ADAM17 mice were not altered. Our data suggest that ADAM17 contributes to the processing of painful stimuli, with a complex mode of action orchestrating the function of neurons along the pain pathway.-Quarta, S., Mitrić, M., Kalpachidou, T., Mair, N., Schiefermeier-Mach, N., Andratsch, M., Qi, Y., Langeslag, M., Malsch, P., Rose-John, S., Kress, M. Impaired mechanical, heat, and cold nociception in a murine model of genetic TACE/ADAM17 knockdown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201801901RDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6404580PMC
March 2019

Sphingosine-1-Phosphate and the S1P Receptor Initiate Neuronal Retraction via RhoA/ROCK Associated with CRMP2 Phosphorylation.

Front Mol Neurosci 2017 10;10:317. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Division of Physiology, DPMP, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

The bioactive lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is an important regulator in the nervous system. Here, we explored the role of S1P and its receptors and in preclinical models of peripheral nerve regeneration. Adult sensory neurons and motor neuron-like cells were exposed to S1P in an assay, and virtually all neurons responded with a rapid retraction of neurites and growth cone collapse which were associated with RhoA and ROCK activation. The S1P receptor agonist SEW2871 neither activated RhoA or neurite retraction, nor was S1P-induced neurite retraction mitigated in S1P-deficient neurons. Depletion of S1P receptors however resulted in a dramatic inhibition of S1P-induced neurite retraction and was on the contrary associated with a significant elongation of neuronal processes in response to S1P. Opposing responses to S1P could be observed in the same neuron population, where S1P could activate S1P receptors to stimulate elongation or S1P receptors and retraction. S1P was, for the first time in sensory neurons, linked to the phosphorylation of collapsin response-mediated protein-2 (CRMP2), which was inhibited by ROCK inhibition. The improved sensory recovery after crush injury further supported the relevance of a critical role for S1P and receptors in fine-tuning axonal outgrowth in peripheral neurons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2017.00317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641356PMC
October 2017

Ablation of Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor Subtype 3 Impairs Hippocampal Neuron Excitability and Spatial Working Memory .

Front Cell Neurosci 2016 7;10:258. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Medical University of Innsbruck Innsbruck, Austria.

Understanding the role of the bioactive lipid mediator sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) within the central nervous system has recently gained more and more attention, as it has been connected to major diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Even though much data about the functions of the five S1P receptors has been collected for other organ systems, we still lack a complete understanding for their specific roles, in particular within the brain. Therefore, it was the aim of this study to further elucidate the role of S1P receptor subtype 3 (S1P) and with a special focus on the hippocampus. Using an S1P knock-out mouse model we applied a range of behavioral tests, performed expression studies, and whole cell patch clamp recordings in acute hippocampal slices. We were able to show that S1P deficient mice display a significant spatial working memory deficit within the T-maze test, but not in anxiety related tests. Furthermore, mRNA was expressed throughout the hippocampal formation. Principal neurons in area CA3 lacking S1P showed significantly increased interspike intervals and a significantly decreased input resistance. Upon stimulation with S1P CA3 principal neurons from both wildtype and [Formula: see text] mice displayed significantly increased evoked EPSC amplitudes and decay times, whereas rise times remained unchanged. These results suggest a specific involvement of S1P for the establishment of spatial working memory and neuronal excitability within the hippocampus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2016.00258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5097928PMC
November 2016

Sphingosine 1-phosphate to p38 signaling via S1P1 receptor and Gαi/o evokes augmentation of capsaicin-induced ionic currents in mouse sensory neurons.

Mol Pain 2014 Nov 28;10:74. Epub 2014 Nov 28.

Division Physiology, DPMP, Medical University Innsbruck, Fritz-Pregl-Str, 3-I, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

The perception of painful thermal stimuli by sensory neurons is largely mediated by TRPV1. Upon tissue injury or inflammation, S1P is secreted by thrombocytes as part of an inflammatory cocktail, which sensitizes nociceptive neurons towards thermal stimuli. S1P acts on G-protein coupled receptors that are expressed in sensory neurons and sensitize TRPV1 channels towards thermal stimuli. In this study, the S1P mediated signaling pathway required for sensitization of TRPV1 channels was explored.The capsaicin induced peak inward current (ICAPS) of sensory neurons was significantly increased after S1P stimulation within minutes after application. The potentiation of ICAPS resulted from activation of Gαi through G-protein coupled receptors for S1P. Consequently, Gαi led to a signaling cascade, involving phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase C, which augmented ICAPS in nociceptive neurons. The S1P1 receptor agonist SEW2871 resulted in activation of the same signaling pathway and potentiation of ICAPS. Furthermore, the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 was phosphorylated after S1P stimulation and inhibition of p38 signaling by SB203580 prevented the S1P-induced ICAPS potentiation. The current data suggest that S1P sensitized ICAPS through G-protein coupled S1P1 receptor activation of Gαi-PI3K-PKC-p38 signaling pathway in sensory neurons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1744-8069-10-74DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4280769PMC
November 2014

Peripheral nerve regeneration and NGF-dependent neurite outgrowth of adult sensory neurons converge on STAT3 phosphorylation downstream of neuropoietic cytokine receptor gp130.

J Neurosci 2014 Sep;34(39):13222-33

Divisions of Physiology, and

After nerve injury, adult sensory neurons can regenerate peripheral axons and reconnect with their target tissue. Initiation of outgrowth, as well as elongation of neurites over long distances, depends on the signaling of receptors for neurotrophic growth factors. Here, we investigated the importance of gp130, the signaling subunit of neuropoietic cytokine receptors in peripheral nerve regeneration. After sciatic nerve crush, functional recovery in vivo was retarded in SNS-gp130(-/-) mice, which specifically lack gp130 in sensory neurons. Correspondingly, a significantly reduced number of free nerve endings was detected in glabrous skin from SNS-gp130(-/-) compared with control mice after nerve crush. Neurite outgrowth and STAT3 activation in vitro were severely reduced in cultures in gp130-deficient cultured neurons. Surprisingly, in neurons obtained from SNS-gp130(-/-) mice the increase in neurite length was reduced not only in response to neuropoietic cytokine ligands of gp130 but also to nerve growth factor (NGF), which does not bind to gp130-containing receptors. Neurite outgrowth in the absence of neurotrophic factors was partially rescued in gp130-deficient neurons by leptin, which activates STAT3 downstream of leptic receptor and independent of gp130. The neurite outgrowth response of gp130-deficient neurons to NGF was fully restored in the presence of leptin. Based on these findings, gp130 signaling via STAT3 activation is suggested not only to be an important regulator of peripheral nerve regeneration in vitro and in vivo, but as determining factor for the growth promoting action of NGF in adult sensory neurons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1209-13.2014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172810PMC
September 2014

Oncostatin M induces heat hypersensitivity by gp130-dependent sensitization of TRPV1 in sensory neurons.

Mol Pain 2011 Dec 23;7:102. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Oncostatin M (OSM) is a member of the interleukin-6 cytokine family and regulates eg. gene activation, cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. OSM binds to a receptor complex consisting of the ubiquitously expressed signal transducer gp130 and the ligand binding OSM receptor subunit, which is expressed on a specific subset of primary afferent neurons. In the present study, the effect of OSM on heat nociception was investigated in nociceptor-specific gp130 knock-out (SNS-gp130-/-) and gp130 floxed (gp130fl/fl) mice.Subcutaneous injection of pathophysiologically relevant concentrations of OSM into the hind-paw of C57BL6J wild type mice significantly reduced paw withdrawal latencies to heat stimulation. In contrast to gp130fl/fl mice, OSM did not induce heat hypersensitivity in vivo in SNS-gp130-/- mice. OSM applied at the receptive fields of sensory neurons in in vitro skin-nerve preparations showed that OSM significantly increased the discharge rate during a standard ramp-shaped heat stimulus. The capsaicin- and heat-sensitive ion channel TRPV1, expressed on a subpopulation of nociceptive neurons, has been shown to play an important role in inflammation-induced heat hypersensitivity. Stimulation of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons with OSM resulted in potentiation of capsaicin induced ionic currents. In line with these recordings, mice with a null mutation of the TRPV1 gene did not show any signs of OSM-induced heat hypersensitivity in vivo.The present data suggest that OSM induces thermal hypersensitivity by directly sensitizing nociceptors via OSMR-gp130 receptor mediated potentiation of TRPV1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1744-8069-7-102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3275481PMC
December 2011

Genetic evidence for an essential role of neuronally expressed IL-6 signal transducer gp130 in the induction and maintenance of experimentally induced mechanical hypersensitivity in vivo and in vitro.

Mol Pain 2011 Sep 27;7:73. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Div. Physiology, DPMP, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Tenderness and mechanical allodynia are key symptoms of malignant tumor, inflammation and neuropathy. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is causally involved in all three pathologies. IL-6 not only regulates innate immunity and inflammation but also causes nociceptor sensitization and hyperalgesia. In general and in most cell types including immune cells and sensory neurons, IL-6 binds soluble μ receptor subunits which heteromerizes with membrane bound IL-6 signal transducer gp130. In the present study, we used a conditional knock-out strategy to investigate the importance of signal transducer gp130 expressed in C nociceptors for the generation and maintenance of mechanical hypersensitivity. Nociceptors were sensitized to mechanical stimuli by experimental tumor and this nociceptor sensitization was preserved at later stages of the pathology in control mice. However, in mice with a conditional deletion of gp130 in Nav1.8 expressing nociceptors mechanical hypersensitivity by experimental tumor, nerve injury or inflammation recovery was not preserved in the maintenance phase and nociceptors exhibited normal mechanical thresholds comparable to untreated mice. Together, the results argue for IL-6 signal transducer gp130 as an essential prerequisite in nociceptors for long-term mechanical hypersensitivity associated with cancer, inflammation and nerve injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1744-8069-7-73DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3197546PMC
September 2011

Genetic evidence for involvement of neuronally expressed S1P₁ receptor in nociceptor sensitization and inflammatory pain.

PLoS One 2011 Feb 17;6(2):e17268. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Division of Physiology, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a key regulator of immune response. Immune cells, epithelia and blood cells generate high levels of S1P in inflamed tissue. However, it is not known if S1P acts on the endings of nociceptive neurons, thereby contributing to the generation of inflammatory pain. We found that the S1P₁ receptor for S1P is expressed in subpopulations of sensory neurons including nociceptors. Both S1P and agonists at the S1P₁ receptor induced hypersensitivity to noxious thermal stimulation in vitro and in vivo. S1P-induced hypersensitivity was strongly attenuated in mice lacking TRPV1 channels. S1P and inflammation-induced hypersensitivity was significantly reduced in mice with a conditional nociceptor-specific deletion of the S1P₁ receptor. Our data show that neuronally expressed S1P₁ receptors play a significant role in regulating nociceptor function and that S1P/S1P₁ signaling may be a key player in the onset of thermal hypersensitivity and hyperalgesia associated with inflammation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017268PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3040773PMC
February 2011

A key role for gp130 expressed on peripheral sensory nerves in pathological pain.

J Neurosci 2009 Oct;29(43):13473-83

Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Division of Physiology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a key mediator of inflammation. Inhibitors of IL-6 or of its signal transducing receptor gp130 constitute a novel class of anti-inflammatory drugs, which raise great hopes for improved treatments of painful inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. IL-6 and gp130 may enhance pain not only indirectly through their proinflammatory actions but also through a direct action on nociceptors (i.e., on neurons activated by painful stimuli). We found indeed that the IL-6/gp130 ligand-receptor complex induced heat hypersensitivity both in vitro and in vivo. This process was mediated by activation of PKC-delta via Gab1/2/PI(3)K and subsequent regulation of TRPV1, a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels. To assess the relevance of this direct pain promoting effect of IL-6, we generated conditional knock-out mice, which lack gp130 specifically in nociceptors, and tested them in models of inflammatory and tumor-induced pain. These mice showed significantly reduced levels of inflammatory and tumor-induced pain but no changes in immune reactions or tumor growth. Our results uncover the significance of gp130 expressed in peripheral pain sensing neurons in the pathophysiology of major clinical pain disorders and suggest their use as novel pain relieving agents in inflammatory and tumor pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1822-09.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6664994PMC
October 2009