Peripheral nerve injury and sensitization underlie pain associated with oral cancer perineural invasion
Salvo, Elizabeth; Campana, Wendy M; Scheff, Nicole N; Tu, Nguyen Huu; Jeong, Se-Hee; Wall, Ian; Wu, Angie K; Zhang, Susanna; Kim, Hyesung; Bhattacharya, Aditi; Janal, Malvin N; Liu, Cheng; Albertson, Donna G; Schmidt, Brian L; Dolan, John C; Schmidt, Robert E; Boada, M Danilo; Ye, Yi
Cancer invading into nerves, termed perineural invasion (PNI), is associated with pain. Here we show that oral cancer patients with PNI report greater spontaneous pain and mechanical allodynia compared with patients without PNI, suggesting unique mechanisms drive PNI-induced pain. We studied the impact of PNI on peripheral nerve physiology and anatomy using a murine sciatic nerve PNI model. Mice with PNI exhibited spontaneous nociception and mechanical allodynia. PNI induced afterdischarge in A high threshold mechanoreceptors (AHTMRs), mechanical sensitization (i.e., decreased mechanical thresholds) in both A and C HTMRs, and mechanical desensitization in low threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs). PNI resulted in nerve damage, including axon loss, myelin damage, and axon degeneration. Electrophysiological evidence of nerve injury included decreased conduction velocity, and increased percentage of both mechanically-insensitive and electrically-unexcitable neurons. We conclude that PNI-induced pain is driven by nerve injury and peripheral sensitization in HTMRs.
ADAM17-EGFR signaling contributes to oral cancer pain
Scheff, Nicole N; Ye, Yi; Conley, Zachary; Quan, Jen Wui; Ronald Lam, Yat Vong; Klares, Richard; Singh, Kamalpreet; Schmidt, Brian L; Aouizerat, Bradley E
Cancer cells secrete pro-nociceptive mediators that sensitize adjacent sensory neurons and cause pain. Identification and characterization of these mediators could pinpoint novel targets for cancer pain treatment. In the present study we identified candidate genes in cancer cell lines that encode for secreted or cell surface proteins that may drive nociception. To undertake this work, we utilized an acute cancer pain mouse model, transcriptomic analysis of publicly available human tumor-derived cell line data, and a literature review. Cancer cell line supernatants were assigned a phenotype based on evoked nociceptive behavior in an acute cancer pain mouse model. We compared gene expression data from nociceptive and non-nociceptive cell lines. Our analyses revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and pathways; many of the identified genes were not previously associated with cancer pain signaling. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and disintegrin metalloprotease domain 17 (ADAM17) were identified as potential targets among the DEGs. We found that the nociceptive cell lines contained significantly more ADAM17 protein in the cell culture supernatant compared to non-nociceptive cell lines. Cytoplasmic EGFR was present in almost all (>90%) tongue primary afferent neurons in mice. Monoclonal antibody against EGFR, cetuximab, inhibited cell line supernatant-induced nociceptive behavior in an acute oral cancer pain mouse model. We infer from these data that ADAM17-EGFR signaling is involved in cancer mediator-induced nociception. The differentially expressed genes and their secreted protein products may serve as candidate therapeutic targets for oral cancer pain and warrant further evaluation.
Oral cancer derived tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) activates Schwann cells to amplify pain [Meeting Abstract]
Salvo, E; Nguyen, T; Scheff, N; Schmidt, B; Albertson, D; Dolan, J; Ye, Y
Pain is rated by oral cancer patients as the worst symptom and significantly impairs a patient's ability to eat, talk, and drink. Mediators, secreted from oral cancer microenvironment, excite primary afferent neurons, which in turn generate pain. Oral cancer cells release TNFalpha which induces acute inflammation and nociception in mice. We hypothesize that TNFalpha activates Schwann cells to amplify pain signals. First, we confirmed the involvement of TNFalpha in oral cancer pain in patients and animal models. We found that oral cancer tissues collected from patients have higher TNFalpha concentration compared to anatomically matched normal tissues. Differences in TNFalpha concentration between the tumor and anatomically matched normal tissues correlate positively with total pain scores. In a Nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4NQO) mouse oral cancer model we demonstrated reduced mechanical hypersensitivity (P<0.05, N=8) with the dolognawmeter gnawing assay when TNFalpha was neutralized with C-87. Using a non-contact co-culture model, we found that HSC-3 cells induced a more activated human primary Schwann cells phenotype with increased proliferation (P<0.05) and migration (P<0.05); introduction of C-87 in the co-culture reduced Schwann cell proliferation (P<0.05) and migration (P<0.05) induced by HSC-3 cells. After removal of the co-cultured cancer cells, cancer-activated Schwann cells secrete greater amounts of TNFalpha and nerve growth factor (NGF), another known nociceptive mediator in the oral cancer microenvironment, compared to Schwann cells initially co-cultured with DOK (P<0.05) or naive Schwann cells (P<0.05). To determine whether activated Schwann cells mediate oral cancer pain, we cultured Schwann cells in hypoxic conditions - a known cancer stimulus that induces robust Schwann cell activation. Schwann cell supernatant was then collected and injected into the mouse cheek. Supernatant from hypoxia-activated Schwann cells induced greater facial allodynia (measured with von Frey filaments) in mice (P<0.05, N=7), compared to supernatant from Schwann cells cultured in normoxic conditions (N=5). C-87 significantly reduced facial allodynia caused by hypoxiaactivated Schwann cells (P<0.05, N=5). We infer from our results that TNFalpha plays a role in the activation of Schwann cells and that cancer-activated Schwann cells are a source of nociceptive mediators in the cancer microenvironment. Inhibition of Schwann cell activation might be clinically useful for alleviating oral cancer pain
Cullin5 deficiency promotes small-cell lung cancer metastasis by stabilizing integrin Î²1
Zhao, Gaoxiang; Gong, Liyan; Su, Dan; Jin, Yujuan; Guo, Chenchen; Yue, Meiting; Yao, Shun; Qin, Zhen; Ye, Yi; Tang, Ying; Wu, Qibiao; Zhang, Jian; Cui, Binghai; Ding, Qiurong; Huang, Hsinyi; Hu, Liang; Chen, Yuting; Zhang, Peiyuan; Hu, Guohong; Chen, Luonan; Wong, Kwok-Kin; Gao, Daming; Ji, Hongbin
Metastasis is the dominant cause of patient death in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), and a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying SCLC metastasis may potentially improve clinical treatment. Through genome-scale screening for key regulators of mouse Rb1-/- Trp53-/- SCLC metastasis using the pooled CRISPR/Cas9 library, we identified Cullin5 (CUL5) and suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), two components of the Cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, as top candidates. Mechanistically, the deficiency of CUL5 or SOCS3 disrupted the functional formation of the E3 ligase complex and prevented the degradation of integrin Î²1, which stabilized integrin Î²1 and activated downstream focal adhesion kinase/SRC (FAK/SRC) signaling and eventually drove SCLC metastasis. Low expression levels of CUL5 and SOCS3 were significantly associated with high integrin Î²1 levels and poor prognosis in a large cohort of 128 clinical patients with SCLC. Moreover, the CUL5-deficient SCLCs were vulnerable to the treatment of the FDA-approved SRC inhibitor dasatinib. Collectively, this work identifies the essential role of CUL5- and SOCS3-mediated integrin Î²1 turnover in controlling SCLC metastasis, which might have therapeutic implications.
Reciprocal interactions between cancer and Schwann cells contribute to oral cancer progression and pain
Salvo, Elizabeth; Saraithong, Prakaimuk; Curtin, Jared G; Janal, Malvin N; Ye, Yi
Pain associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (oral SCC) decreases quality of life and survival. The interaction between cancer and the peripheral nerves is known to initiate and amplify pain and contribute to carcinogenesis. Schwann cells envelop peripheral nerves and are activated in response to neuronal damage. The contributions of Schwann cells to oral SCC progression and pain are unknown. Using a non-contact co-culture model, we demonstrate that Schwann cells (RSC-96) and oral SCC cells (HSC-3) reciprocally interact to promote proliferation, migration, and invasion. Schwann cell-oral SCC interaction leads to increased production of adenosine, which stimulates cell proliferation and migration of both cell types. The adenosine receptor A2B (ADORA2B) is expressed on RSC-96 cells. We show that supernatant from the RSC-96 cells co-cultured with HSC-3 cells induces increased mechanical hypersensitivity in mice compared to supernatant from control RSC-96 cells. Treatment with the ADORA2B antagonist PSB603 significantly inhibits co-culture interactions - proliferation and migration, and co-culture supernatant induced mechanical hypersensitivity. RSC-96 cells co-cultured with HSC-3 cells secrete increased amounts of the pronociceptive mediator, interleukin-6 (IL-6), which can be reduced by adding PSB603 into the co-culture. Our data support a reciprocal interaction between oral SCC and Schwann cells mediated by adenosine with potential to promote oral SCC progression and pain via increased secretion of IL-6.
Anti-cancer and analgesic effects of resolvin D2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma
Ye, Yi; Scheff, Nicole N; Bernabé, Daniel; Salvo, Elizabeth; Ono, Kentaro; Liu, Cheng; Veeramachaneni, Ratna; Viet, Chi T; Viet, Dan T; Dolan, John C; Schmidt, Brian L
Oral cancer is often painful and lethal. Oral cancer progression and pain may result from shared pathways that involve unresolved inflammation and elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Resolvin D-series (RvDs) are endogenous lipid mediators derived from omega-3 fatty acids that exhibit pro-resolution and anti-inflammatory actions. These mediators have recently emerged as a novel class of therapeutics for diseases that involve inflammation; the specific roles of RvDs in oral cancer and associated pain are not defined. The present study investigated the potential of RvDs (RvD1 and RvD2) to treat oral cancer and alleviate oral cancer pain. We found down-regulated mRNA levels of GPR18 and GPR32 (which code for receptors RvD1 and RvD2) in oral cancer cells. Both RvD1 and RvD2 inhibited oral cancer proliferation inÂ vitro. Using two validated mouse oral squamous cell carcinoma xenograft models, we found that RvD2, the more potent anti-inflammatory lipid mediator, significantly reduced tumor size. The mechanism of this action might involve suppression of IL-6, C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), and reduction of tumor necrosis. RvD2 generated short-lasting analgesia in xenograft cancer models, which coincided with decreased neutrophil infiltration and myeloperoxidase activity. Using a cancer supernatant model, we demonstrated that RvD2 reduced cancer-derived cytokines/chemokines (TNF-Î±, IL-6, CXCL10, and MCP-1), cancer mediator-induced CD11b+Ly6G- myeloid cells, and nociception. We infer from our results that manipulation of the endogenous pro-resolution pathway might provide a novel approach to improve oral cancer and cancer pain treatment.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha secreted from oral squamous cell carcinoma contributes to cancer pain and associated inflammation
Scheff, Nicole N; Ye, Yi; Bhattacharya, Aditi; MacRae, Justin; Hickman, Dustin H; Sharma, Atul K; Dolan, John C; Schmidt, Brian L
Oral cancer patients report severe pain during function. Inflammation plays a role in the oral cancer microenvironment; however, the role of immune cells and associated secretion of inflammatory mediators in oral cancer pain has not been well defined. In this study, we utilized two oral cancer mouse models: a cell line supernatant injection model and the 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO) chemical carcinogenesis model. We used the two models to study changes in immune cell infiltrate and orofacial nociception associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (oSCC). Oral cancer cell line supernatant inoculation and 4NQO-induced oSCC resulted in functional allodynia and neuronal sensitization of trigeminal tongue afferent neurons. While the infiltration of immune cells is a prominent component of both oral cancer models, our use of immune-deficient mice demonstrated that oral cancer-induced nociception was not dependent on the inflammatory component. Furthermore, the inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), was identified in high concentration in oral cancer cell line supernatant and in the tongue tissue of 4NQO-treated mice with oSCC. Inhibition of TNFa signaling abolished oral cancer cell line supernatant-evoked functional allodynia and disrupted T cell infiltration. With these data, we identified TNFa as a prominent mediator in oral cancer-induced nociception and inflammation highlighting the need for further investigation in neural-immune communication in cancer pain.
Alterations in opioid inhibition cause widespread nociception but do not affect anxiety-like behavior in oral cancer mice
Ye, Yi; Bernabe, Daniel G; Salvo, Elizabeth; Viet, Chi T; Ono, Kentaro; Dolan, John C; Janal, Malvin; Aouizerat, Brad E; Miaskowski, Christine; Schmidt, Brian L
Widespread pain and anxiety are commonly reported in cancer patients. We hypothesize that cancer is accompanied by attenuation of endogenous opioid-mediated inhibition, which subsequently causes widespread pain and anxiety. To test this hypothesis we used a mouse model of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the tongue. We found that mice with tongue SCC exhibited widespread nociceptive behaviors in addition to behaviors associated with local nociception that we reported previously. Tongue SCC mice exhibited a pattern of reduced opioid receptor expression in the spinal cord; intrathecal administration of respective mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor agonists reduced widespread nociception in mice, except for the fail flick assay following administration of the MOR agonist. We infer from these findings that opioid receptors contribute to widespread nociception in oral cancer mice. Despite significant nociception, mice with tongue SCC did not differ from sham mice in anxiety-like behaviors as measured by the open field assay and elevated maze. No significant differences in c-Fos staining were found in anxiety-associated brain regions in cancer relative to control mice. No correlation was found between nociceptive and anxiety-like behaviors. Moreover, opioid receptor agonists did not yield a statistically significant effect on behaviors measured in the open field and elevated maze in cancer mice. Lastly, we used an acute cancer pain model (injection of cancer supernatant into the mouse tongue) to test whether adaptation to chronic pain is responsible for the absence of greater anxiety-like behavior in cancer mice. No changes in anxiety-like behavior were observed in mice with acute cancer pain.
OPRM1 Methylation Contributes to Opioid Tolerance in Cancer Patients
Viet, Chi T; Dang, Dongmin; Aouizerat, Bradley E; Miaskowski, Christine; Ye, Yi; Viet, Dan T; Ono, Kentaro; Schmidt, Brian L
Cancer patients in pain require high doses of opioids and quickly become opioid-tolerant. Previous studies have shown that both chronic cancer pain and high dose opioid use lead to mu-opioid receptor down-regulation. In this study we explore down-regulation of OPRM1, the mu-opioid receptor gene, as a mechanism f,or opioid tolerance in the setting of opioid use for cancer pain. We demonstrate in a cohort of 84 cancer patients that high dose opioid use correlates with OPRM1 hypermethylation in peripheral leukocytes of these patients. We then reverse-translate our clinical findings by creating a mouse cancer pain model; we create opioid tolerance in the mouse cancer model to mimic opioid tolerance in the cancer patients. Using this model we determine the functional significance of OPRM1 methylation on cancer pain and opioid tolerance. We focus on two main cells within the cancer microenvironment: the cancer cell and the neuron. We show that targeted re-expression of mu-opioid receptor on cancer cells inhibits mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity, and prevents opioid tolerance, in the mouse model. The resultant analgesia and protection against opioid tolerance are likely due to preservation of mu-opioid receptor expression on the cancer-associated neurons.
Cutaneous pigmentation modulates skin sensitivity via tyrosinase-dependent dopaminergic signalling
Ono, Kentaro; Viet, Chi T; Ye, Yi; Dang, Dongmin; Hitomi, Suzuro; Toyono, Takashi; Inenaga, Kiyotoshi; Dolan, John C; Schmidt, Brian L
We propose a new mechanism of sensory modulation through cutaneous dopaminergic signalling. We hypothesize that dopaminergic signalling contributes to differential cutaneous sensitivity in darker versus lighter pigmented humans and mouse strains. We show that thermal and mechanical cutaneous sensitivity is pigmentation dependent. Meta-analyses in humans and mice, along with our own mouse behavioural studies, reveal higher thermal sensitivity in pigmented skin relative to less-pigmented or albino skin. We show that dopamine from melanocytes activates the D1-like dopamine receptor on primary sensory neurons. Dopaminergic activation increases expression of the heat-sensitive TRPV1 ion channel and reduces expression of the mechanically-sensitive Piezo2 channel; thermal threshold is lower and mechanical threshold is higher in pigmented skin.