Macrophage Toll-like Receptor 9 Contributes to Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Male Mice.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) remains a pressing clinical problem; however, our understanding of sexual dimorphism in CIPN remains unclear. Emerging studies indicate a sex-dimorphic role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in driving neuropathic pain. In this study, we examined the role of TLR9 in CIPN induced by paclitaxel in WT and Tlr9 mutant mice of both sexes. Baseline pain sensitivity was not affected in either Tlr9 mutant male or female mice. Intraplantar and intrathecal injection of the TLR9 agonist ODN 1826 induced mechanical allodynia in both sexes of WT and Tlr4 KO mice but failed to do so in Tlr9 mutant mice. Moreover, Trpv1 KO or C-fiber blockade by resiniferatoxin failed to affect intraplantar ODN 1826-induced mechanical allodynia. Interestingly, the development of paclitaxel-evoked mechanical allodynia was attenuated by TLR9 antagonism or Tlr9 mutation only in male mice. Paclitaxel-induced CIPN caused macrophage infiltration to DRGs in both sexes, and this infiltration was not affected by Tlr9 mutation. Paclitaxel treatment also upregulated TNF and CXCL1 in macrophage cultures and DRG tissues in both sexes, but these changes were compromised by Tlr9 mutation in male animals. Intraplantar adoptive transfer of paclitaxel-activated macrophages evoked mechanical allodynia in both sexes, which was compromised by Tlr9 mutation or by treatment with TLR9 inhibitor only in male animals. Finally, TLR9 antagonism reduced paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia in female nude mice (T-cell and B-cell deficient). Together, these findings reveal sex-dimorphic macrophage TLR9 signaling in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major side effect in cancer patients undergoing clinical chemotherapy treatment regimens. The role of sex dimorphism with regards to the mechanisms of CIPN and analgesia against CIPN remains unclear. Previous studies have found that the infiltration of immune cells, such as macrophages into DRGs and their subsequent activation promote CIPN. Interestingly, the contribution of microglia to CIPN appears to be limited. Here, we show that macrophage TLR9 signaling promotes CIPN in male mice only. This study suggests that pathways in macrophages may be sex-dimorphic in CIPN. Our findings provide new insights into the role of macrophage signaling mechanisms underlying sex dimorphism in CIPN, which may inspire the development of more precise and effective therapies.
Luo, X; Huh, Y; Bang, S; He, Q; Zhang, L; Matsuda, M; Ji, R-R
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)