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Title: Up-regulation of cutaneous α1 -adrenoceptors in complex regional pain syndrome type I.
Authors: Finch, PM 
Drummond, Eleanor S
Dawson, Linda F
Phillips, Jacqueline K
Drummond, Peter D
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Source: Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) 2014-11; 15(11): 1945-56
Abstract: In a small radioligand-binding study of cutaneous α1 -adrenoceptors in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), signal intensity was greater in the CRPS-affected limb than in controls. However, it was not possible to localize heightened expression of α1 -adrenoceptors to nerves, sweat glands, blood vessels, or keratinocytes using this technique. To explore this in the present study, skin biopsies were obtained from 31 patients with CRPS type I and 23 healthy controls of similar age and sex distribution. Expression of α1 -adrenoceptors on keratinocytes and on dermal blood vessels, sweat glands, and nerves was assessed using immunohistochemistry. α1 -Adrenoceptors were expressed more strongly in dermal nerve bundles and the epidermis both on the affected and contralateral unaffected side in patients than in controls (P<0.05). However, expression of α1 -adrenoceptors in sweat glands and blood vessels was similar in patients and controls. α1 -Adrenoceptor staining intensity in the CRPS-affected epidermis was associated with pain intensity (P < 0.05), but a similar trend for nerve bundles did not achieve statistical significance. Epidermal cells influence nociception by releasing ligands that act on sensory nerve fibers. Moreover, an increased expression of α1 -adrenoceptors on nociceptive afferents has been shown to aggravate neuropathic pain. Thus, the heightened expression of α1 -adrenoceptors in dermal nerves and epidermal cells might augment pain and neuroinflammatory disturbances after tissue injury in patients with CRPS type I.
DOI: 10.1111/pme.12548
PubMed URL:
Journal Title: Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)
Type: Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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