From the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 to neuropathic pain: a potentially novel target

Pain Rep. 2021 Mar 9;6(1):e898. doi: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000898. eCollection 2021.


This review describes the roles of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1) in inflammatory pathways, nerve nerve degeneration and -regeneration and in neuropathic pain. Induction of LRP-1 is able to reduce the activation of the proinflammatory NFκB-mediated pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 signaling pathways, in turn decreasing the production of inflammatory mediators. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 activation also decreases reactive astrogliosis and polarizes microglial cells and macrophages from a proinflammatory phenotype (M1) to an anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2), attenuating the neuroinflammatory environment. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 can also modulate the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and the blood-nerve barrier, thus regulating the infiltration of systemic insults and cells into the central and the peripheral nervous system, respectively. Furthermore, LRP-1 is involved in the maturation of oligodendrocytes and in the activation, migration, and repair phenotype of Schwann cells, therefore suggesting a major role in restoring the myelin sheaths upon injury. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 activation can indirectly decrease neurodegeneration and neuropathic pain by attenuation of the inflammatory environment. Moreover, LRP-1 agonists can directly promote neural cell survival and neurite sprouting, decrease cell death, and attenuate pain and neurological disorders by the inhibition of MAPK c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38-pathway and activation of MAPK extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway. In addition, activation of LRP-1 resulted in better outcomes for neuropathies such as Alzheimer disease, nerve injury, or diabetic peripheral neuropathy, attenuating neuropathic pain and improving cognitive functions. To summarize, LRP-1 plays an important role in the development of different experimental diseases of the nervous system, and it is emerging as a very interesting therapeutic target.

Keywords: ERK; Inflammation; JNK; LRP-1; NFκB; Neurodegeneration; Neuropathic pain; Neuropathies; Neuroregeneration.

Publication types

  • Review