Cathepsin E in neutrophils contributes to the generation of neuropathic pain in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Yuka Harada, Jing Zhang, Kazuhisa Imari, Ryo Yamasaki, Junjun Ni, Zhou Wu, Kenji Yamamoto, Jun Ichi Kira, Hiroshi Nakanishi, Yoshinori Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Pain is a frequent and disabling symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS); however, the underlying mechanisms of MS-related pain are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrated that cathepsin E (CatE) in neutrophils contributes to the generation of mechanical allodynia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of MS. We showed that CatE-deficient (CatE2/2) mice were highly resistant to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG35-55)-induced mechanical allodynia. After MOG35-55 immunization, neutrophils immediately accumulated in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Adoptive transfer of MOG35-55-stimulated wild-type neutrophils into the dorsal root ganglion induced mechanical allodynia in the recipient C57BL/6 mice. However, the pain threshold did not change when MOG35-55-stimulated CatE2/2 neutrophils were transferred into the recipient C57BL/6 mice. MOG35-55 stimulation caused CatE-dependent secretion of elastase in neutrophils. Behavioral analyses revealed that sivelestat, a selective neutrophil elastase inhibitor, suppressed mechanical allodynia induced by adoptively transferred MOG35-55-stimulated neutrophils. MOG35-55 directly bound to toll-like receptor 4, which led to increased production of CatE in neutrophils. Our findings suggest that inhibition of CatE-dependent elastase production in neutrophil might be a potential therapeutic target for pain in patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2050-2062
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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