Journal of Alternative Complementary & Integrative Medicine Category: Medicine Type: Commentary
Chronic pain in the Skin and Neurogenic Inflammation
- James David Adams1*
- 1 Department Of Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
*Corresponding Author:James David Adams
Department Of Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Received Date: Jun 21, 2017 Accepted Date: Jul 19, 2019 Published Date: Jul 26, 2019
Damage to or activation of a sensory neuron in the skin causes the release of chemokines that attract neutrophils and macrophages (Figure 1) into the skin [5,6]. Neutrophils secrete leukotrienes that activate TRP channels on skin sensory neurons causing pain . Leukotrienes can have long half-lives, perhaps allowing them to induce pain in many neighboring neurons over a long period of time. Macrophages contain Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) and secrete prostaglandins that cause pain by activating prostaglandin receptors. Prostaglandins can enhance and prolong pain by trans activating TRP channels . The skin contains skin resident T cells that respond to chemokines by releasing IL-17 . Sensory neurons release more chemokines in response to IL-17 [5,6]. Most chronic pain is a self-sustaining pain chemokine cycle that makes the skin into a pain producing organ.
Figure 1: Neurogenic inflammation and chronic pain mechanics - A damaged sensory nerve terminal (S) in the skin releases Chemokines (C) that attract macrophages (M), bind to C Receptors (CR) and induce COX2 in macrophages. Macrophages secreate C that transitive neuronal TRP channels.
SEXUAL DIFFERENCES IN CHRONIC PAIN
CGRP released from skin sensory neurons is found at high levels in the synovial fluids of arthritis patients . It is clear that CGRP contributes to the inflammatory process in arthritis. Monoterpenoids that inhibit skin TRP channels may decrease CGRP levels in synovial fluids and may be anti-inflammatory . CGRP also induces pain, contributes to the pain that arthritis patients experience and contributes to chronic pain, which is induced by the pain chemokine cycle .
CGRP binds to a G protein coupled receptor called calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR,14). CLR activity can be greatly magnified by interactions of the receptor with receptor activity modifying protein (RAMP,14) which contributes to the pain and inflammation induced by CGRP.
HMGB1is secreted by activated macrophages, such as the monocytes/macrophages attracted into the skin by chemokines during the pain chemokine cycle . HMGB1 interacts with Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products (RAGE), and Toll Like Receptors (TLR2 and 4), to induce the secretion of inflammatory cytokines . Tumor necrosis factor α is a cytokine/adipokine that is involved in the induction of inflammation in arthritis. HMGB1 increases the secretion of tumor necrosis factor α from macrophages . Tumor necrosis factor α can travel to remote sites, such as synovial tissues, to increase inflammation.
Neurokinin A is released by skin sensory neurons and enhances pain and inflammation . There are several neurokinin receptors, NK1R, NK2R and NK3R, which are all G protein coupled receptors . Substance P is another kinin that is released from skin sensory neurons . Substance P also interacts with NK1R, NK2R and NK3R to induce pain and inflammation . It is clear that both neurokinin A and substance Pare released from the skin, travel to remote sites and are involved in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions .
Osteoarthritis can be caused by adipokine secretion by visceral adipocytes . The adipokines visfatin, leptin, resist in and tumor necrosis factor α are involved in causing cartilage and bone degradation in osteoarthritis. This degradation leads to pain that is sensed in the skin and establishes the pain chemokine cycle leading to neurogenic inflammation that exacerbates osteoarthritis [3,4].
Treating pain in the skin by inhibiting TRP channels is anti-inflammatory, as has been noted in several case reports [23,24]. Inhibiting skin TRP channels stops the pain chemokine cycle and stops neurogenic inflammation . Effective pain therapy requires a topical preparation that is powerful enough to inhibit a large population of different TRP channels on many different sensory neurons.
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Citation: Adams JD (2019) Chronic pain in the Skin and Neurogenic Inflammation. J Altern Complement Integr Med 5: 073.
Copyright: © 2019 James David Adams, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.