Macrophages and Schwann cell TRPA1 mediate chronic allodynia in a mouse model of complex regional pain syndrome type I

Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Aug:88:535-546. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.037. Epub 2020 Apr 18.


Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) is characterized by intractable chronic pain. Poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms of CRPS-I accounts for the current unsatisfactory treatment. Antioxidants and antagonists of the oxidative stress-sensitive channel, the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), have been found to attenuate acute nociception and delayed allodynia in models of CRPS-I, evoked by ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) of rodent hind limb (chronic post ischemia pain, CPIP). However, it is unknown how I/R may lead to chronic pain mediated by TRPA1. Here, we report that the prolonged (day 1-15) mechanical and cold allodynia in the hind limb of CPIP mice was attenuated permanently in Trpa1-/- mice and transiently after administration of TRPA1 antagonists (A-967079 and HC-030031) or an antioxidant (α-lipoic acid). Indomethacin treatment was, however, ineffective. We also found that I/R increased macrophage (F4/80+ cell) number and oxidative stress markers, including 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), in the injured tibial nerve. Macrophage-deleted MaFIA (Macrophage Fas-Induced Apoptosis) mice did not show I/R-evoked endoneurial cell infiltration, increased 4-HNE and mechanical and cold allodynia. Furthermore, Trpa1-/- mice did not show any increase in macrophage number and 4-HNE in the injured nerve trunk. Notably, in mice with selective deletion of Schwann cell TRPA1 (Plp1-CreERT;Trpa1fl/fl mice), increases in macrophage infiltration, 4-HNE and mechanical and cold allodynia were attenuated. In the present mouse model of CRPS-I, we propose that the initial oxidative stress burst that follows reperfusion activates a feed forward mechanism that entails resident macrophages and Schwann cell TRPA1 of the injured tibial nerve to sustain chronic neuroinflammation and allodynia. Repeated treatment one hour before and for 3 days after I/R with a TRPA1 antagonist permanently protected CPIP mice against neuroinflammation and allodynia, indicating possible novel therapeutic strategies for CRPS-I.

Keywords: 4-HNE; A-967079; Allodynia; HC-030031; Macrophage; Nociception; Schwann cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes*
  • Hyperalgesia*
  • Macrophages
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Schwann Cells
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel


  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • Trpa1 protein, mouse