Astrocytic activation might play a significant role in the central sensitization of chronic migraine (CM). However, the temporal characteristics of the astrocytic activation in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) and the molecular mechanism under the process remain not fully understood. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the duration and levels change of astrocytic activation and to explore the correlation between astrocytic activation and the levels change of cytokines release.
We used a mice model induced by recurrent dural infusion of inflammatory soup (IS). The variation with time of IS-induced mechanical thresholds in the periorbital and hind paw plantar regions were evaluated using the von Frey filaments test. We detected the expression profile of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the TNC through immunofluorescence staining and western blot assay. We also investigated the variation with time of the transcriptional levels of GFAP and ionized calcium binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1) through RNAscope in situ hybridization analysis. Then, we detected the variation with time of cytokines levels in the TNC tissue extraction and serum, including c-c motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), c-c motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5), c-c motif chemokine ligand 7 (CCL7), c-c motif chemokine ligand 12 (CCL12), c-x-c motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1), c-x-c motif chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), interleukin 1beta (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10), interleukin 17A (IL-17A).
Recurrent IS infusion resulted in cutaneous allodynia in both the periorbital region and hind paw plantar, ranging from 5 d (after the second IS infusion) to 47 d (28 d after the last infusion) and 5 d to 26 d (7 d after the last infusion), respectively. The protein levels of GFAP and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels of GFAP and Iba1 significantly increased and sustained from 20 d to 47 d (1 d to 28 d after the last infusion), which was associated with the temporal characteristics of astrocytic activation in the TNC. The CCL7 levels in the TNC decreased from 20 d to 47 d. But the CCL7 levels in serum only decreased on 20 d (1 d after the last infusion). The CCL12 levels in the TNC decreased on 22 d (3 d after the last infusion) and 33 d (14 d after the last infusion). In serum, the CCL12 levels only decreased on 22 d. The IL-10 levels in the TNC increased on 20 d.
Our results indicate that the astrocytic activation generated and sustained in the IS-induced mice model from 1 d to 28 d after the last infusion and may contribute to the pathology through modulating CCL7, CCL12, and IL-10 release.