The proteinase-activated receptor 2 is involved in nociception

W. A. Hoogerwerf, L. Zou, M. Shenoy, D. Sun, M. A. Micci, H. Lee-Hellmich, S. Y. Xiao, J. H. Winston, P. J. Pasricha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


The proteinase-activated receptor 2 is expressed on a subset of primary afferent neurons and may participate in the neurogenic component of inflammation. We hypothesized that this receptor may also play a role in neuronal sensitization and contribute to the pathogenesis of pain in inflammatory conditions such as pancreatitis. Using a specific proteinase-activated receptor 2 activating peptide, we found evidence of such sensitization in vitro in the form of enhanced capsaicin- and KCl-evoked release of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a marker for nociceptive signaling. We then demonstrated that injection of the proteinase-activated receptor 2 activating peptide into the pancreatic duct can activate and sensitize pancreas-specific afferent neurons in vivo, as measured by Fos expression in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. These observations suggest that proteinase-activated receptor 2 contributes to nociceptive signaling and may provide a novel link between inflammation and pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9036-9042
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2001


  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Fos
  • Neuronal sensitization
  • Nociception
  • Pancreas
  • Proteinase-activated receptor 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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