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EphrinB2 induces tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2B via Src-family kinases during inflammatory hyperalgesia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

S. Slack, Anna Battaglia, V. Cibert-Goton, I. Gavazzi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2008

King's Authors


In recent years a role for EphB receptor tyrosine kinases and their ephrinB ligands in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the CNS has been identified. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that EphB receptor activation in the adult rat spinal cord is involved in synaptic plasticity and processing of nociceptive inputs, through modulation of the function of the glutamate ionotropic receptor NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate). In particular, EphB receptor activation would induce phosphorylation of the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor by a Src family non-receptor tyrosine kinase. Intrathecal administration of ephrinB2-Fc in adult rats, which can bind to and activate EphB receptors and induce behavioral thermal hyperalgesia, led to NR2B tyrosine phosphorylation, which could be blocked by the Src family kinase inhibitor PP2. Furthermore animals pre-treated with PP2 did not develop behavioral thermal hyperalgesia following EphrinB2-Fc administration, suggesting that this pathway is functionally significant. Indeed, EphB1-Fc administration, which competes with the endogenous receptor for ephrinB2 binding and prevents behavioral allodynia and hyperalgesia in the carrageenan model of inflammation, also inhibited NR2B phosphorylation in this model. Taken together these findings support the hypothesis that EphB-ephrinB interactions play an important role in NMDA-dependent, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the adult spinal cord, inducing the phosphorylation of the NR2B subunit of the receptor via Src family kinases, thus contributing to chronic pain states. (C) 2008 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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