Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a G-protein-coupled receptor activated through proteolytic cleavage. It is localized on epithelial, endothelial and inflammatory cells, as well as on transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor-expressing neurones. It plays an important role in inflammatory/nociceptive processes. Since there are few reports concerning PAR-2 function in joints, the effects of intraarticular PAR-2 activation on joint pain and inflammation were studied. Secondary hyperalgesia/allodynia, spontaneous weight distribution, swelling and inflammatory cytokine production were measured and the involvement of TRPV1 ion channels was investigated in rats and mice. Injection of the PAR-2 receptor agonist SLIGRL-NH(2) into the knee decreased touch sensitivity and weight bearing of the ipsilateral hindlimb in both species. Secondary mechanical allodynia/hyperalgesia and impaired weight distribution were significantly reduced by the TRPV1 antagonist SB366791 in rats and by the genetic deletion of this receptor in mice. PAR-2 activation did not cause significant joint swelling, but increased IL-1beta concentration which was not influenced by the lack of the TRPV1 channel. For comparison, intraplantar SLIGRL-NH(2) evoked similar primary mechanical hyperalgesia and impaired weight distribution in both WT and TRPV1 deficient mice, but oedema was smaller in the knockouts. The inactive peptide, LRGILS-NH(2), injected into either site did not induce any inflammatory or nociceptive changes. These data provide evidence for a significant role of TRPV1 receptors in secondary mechanical hyperalgesia/allodynia and spontaneous pain induced by PAR-2 receptor activation in the knee joint. Although intraplantar PAR-2 activation-induced oedema is also TRPV1 receptor-mediated, primary mechanical hyperalgesia, impaired weight distribution and IL-1beta production are independent of this channel.
Copyright (c) 2009 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.