A role for Piezo2 in EPAC1-dependent mechanical allodynia

Nat Commun. 2013:4:1682. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2673.


Aberrant mechanosensation has an important role in different pain states. Here we show that Epac1 (cyclic AMP sensor) potentiation of Piezo2-mediated mechanotransduction contributes to mechanical allodynia. Dorsal root ganglia Epac1 mRNA levels increase during neuropathic pain, and nerve damage-induced allodynia is reduced in Epac1-/- mice. The Epac-selective cAMP analogue 8-pCPT sensitizes mechanically evoked currents in sensory neurons. Human Piezo2 produces large mechanically gated currents that are enhanced by the activation of the cAMP-sensor Epac1 or cytosolic calcium but are unaffected by protein kinase C or protein kinase A and depend on the integrity of the cytoskeleton. In vivo, 8-pCPT induces long-lasting allodynia that is prevented by the knockdown of Epac1 and attenuated by mouse Piezo2 knockdown. Piezo2 knockdown also enhanced thresholds for light touch. Finally, 8-pCPT sensitizes responses to innocuous mechanical stimuli without changing the electrical excitability of sensory fibres. These data indicate that the Epac1-Piezo2 axis has a role in the development of mechanical allodynia during neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / metabolism
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / physiology*
  • Hyperalgesia / etiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Signal Transduction


  • Epac protein, mouse
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Ion Channels
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Piezo2 protein, mouse