T Gross, G Wack, KMJ Syhr, T Tolmachova, MC Seabra et al
Institute of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Tissue injury and inflammation may result in chronic pain, a severe debilitating disease that is associated with great impairment of quality of life. An increasing body of evidence indicates that members of the Rab family of small GTPases contribute to pain processing; however, their specific functions remain poorly understood. Here, we found using immunofluorescence staining and in situ hybridization that the small GTPase Rab27a is highly expressed in sensory neurons and in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord of mice. Rab27a mutant mice, which carry a single-nucleotide missense mutation of Rab27a leading to the expression of a nonfunctional protein, show reduced mechanical hyperalgesia and spontaneous pain behavior in inflammatory pain models, while their responses to acute noxious mechanical and thermal stimuli is not affected. Our study uncovers a previously unrecognized function of Rab27a in the processing of persistent inflammatory pain in mice.