Inflammation induces α1-adrenoceptor expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with complex regional pain syndrome

Linda K. Wijaya, Philip A. Stumbles, Philip M. Finch, Peter D. Drummond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Persistent regional and systemic inflammation may promote pain and hyperalgesia in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). In this study, we investigated whether stimulation of α1-adrenoceptors (α1-AR) on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) might contribute to this inflammatory state. PBMC were isolated from venous blood collected from 21 CRPS patients and 21 sex and age-matched controls. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial toxin, was administered to cultured PBMC for 24 h to trigger inflammation. Exposure to LPS resulted in heightened gene expression of α1-AR subtype B (α1B-AR) in PBMC of CRPS patients relative to controls. Interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 levels did not change when the α1-AR agonist phenylephrine was administered to naïve PBMC. However, α1-AR stimulation following LPS treatment increased IL-6 mRNA and protein levels in PBMC of patients and controls. To investigate the possible consequence of heightened IL-6 levels on immunoglobulin G antibody production, PBMC were stimulated with CD40 ligand and IL-21 to generate plasmablasts (B cells that secrete antibodies). This response was similar in patients and controls. Adding IL-6 to the cell culture medium increased plasmablast differentiation in controls and antibody production both in patients and controls. These findings suggest that the inflammatory cascade associated with elevated levels of IL-6 may generate α1B-AR expression in CRPS PBMC. A reciprocal interaction between heightened α1-AR expression in PBMC and IL-6 secretion may contribute to systemic inflammation and antibody production in CRPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume115
Early online date19 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

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