Thromboxane-Induced α-CGRP Release from Peripheral Neurons Is an Essential Positive Feedback Loop in Capsaicin-Induced Neurogenic Inflammation

J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Mar;139(3):656-664. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.10.011. Epub 2018 Oct 26.


α-CGRP is synthesized by sensory nerves in the dermis and its release can cause vasodilation and local inflammation. Its vasorelaxant effects are based on the direct activation of smooth muscle and endothelial cells, as well as the activation of mast cells causing the release of vasoactive and proinflammatory mediators. Here, we show that in the capsaicin model for neurogenic inflammation, capsaicin-induced edema formation is mediated by α-CGRP and mast cells, but is absent in thromboxane receptor-deficient mice. Capsaicin treatment of mice induced a thromboxane synthesis, which was mediated by α-CGRP and mast cells. Fittingly, α-CGRP induced thromboxane synthesis in mast cells and the thromboxane receptor agonist I-BOP caused edema formation independently of mast cells, suggesting that mast cells are the source of thromboxane. Most importantly, I-BOP-induced edema formation was mediated by α-CGRP and I-BOP was able to stimulate through calcineurin the α-CGRP release from peripheral neurons. Likewise, the signaling pathway, including α-CGRP, thromboxane receptor, and mast cells, also mediated capsaicin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity, a common symptom of capsaicin treatment. Taken together, the thromboxane-induced α-CGRP release from neurons forms a positive feedback loop causing prolonged α-CGRP release and edema formation during capsaicin-induced neurogenic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism*
  • Capsaicin / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology
  • Feedback, Physiological*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurogenic Inflammation
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / cytology*
  • Receptors, Thromboxane / agonists
  • Receptors, Thromboxane / genetics
  • Thromboxanes / metabolism*


  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Receptors, Thromboxane
  • Thromboxanes
  • 7-(3-(3-hydroxy-4-(4'-iodophenoxy)-1-butenyl)-7-oxabicyclo(2.2.1)heptan-2-yl)-5-heptenoic acid
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Capsaicin