Effect of CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling on neuropathic pain after chronic compression of dorsal root ganglion

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 18;7(1):5707. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05954-1.


Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic pain state that often accompanies tissue damage, inflammation or injury of the nervous system. However the underlying molecular mechanisms still remain unclear. Here, we showed that CXCL12 and CXCR4 were upregulated in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) after chronic compression of DRG (CCD), and some CXCR4 immunopositive neurons were also immunopositive for the nociceptive neuronal markers IB4, TRPV1, CGRP, and substance P. The incidence and amplitude of CXCL12-induced Ca2+ response in primary sensory neurons from CCD mice was significantly increased compared to those from control animals. CXCL12 depolarized the resting membrane potential, decreased the rheobase, and increased the number of action potentials evoked by a depolarizing current at 2X rheobase in neurons from CCD mice. The mechanical and thermal hypernociception after CCD was attenuated by administration of a CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100. These findings suggest that CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling contributes to hypernociception after CCD, and targeting CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling pathway may alleviate neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzylamines
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / metabolism*
  • Cyclams
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiopathology*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / pharmacology
  • Hyperalgesia / physiopathology
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Benzylamines
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Cyclams
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • plerixafor