Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP or amylin) is predominantly expressed by insulin cells, but occurs also in primary sensory neurons in the rat. Here, using mice targeted for a null mutation in the IAPP gene, we establish murine expression of IAPP in sensory neurons; its distribution in a population of calcitonin gene-related peptide-containing neurons in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion is similar to that previously described in the rat. We also report the IAPP mutant mice display a reduced pain response in the paw formalin test. Adjuvant-induced joint inflammation was not altered in IAPP mutants, arguing against a peripheral inflammatory abnormality. These findings lead us to suggest that IAPP has a pro-nociceptive function in primary sensory neurons.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.