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Previously we demonstrated that sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR(1)) played a prominent, but not exclusive, role in enhancing the excitability of small-diameter sensory neurons, suggesting that other S1PRs can modulate neuronal excitability. To examine the potential role of S1PR(2) in regulating neuronal excitability we used the established selective antagonist of S1PR(2), JTE-013. Here we report that exposure to JTE-013 alone produced a significant increase in excitability in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in 70-80% of recorded neurons. Internal perfusion of sensory neurons with guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP-β-S) via the recording pipette inhibited the sensitization produced by JTE-013 as well as prostaglandin E(2). Pretreatment with pertussis toxin or the selective S1PR(1) antagonist W146 blocked the sensitization produced by JTE-013. These results indicate that JTE-013 might act as an agonist at other G protein-coupled receptors. In neurons that were sensitized by JTE-013, single-cell RT-PCR studies demonstrated that these neurons did not express the mRNA for S1PR(2). In behavioral studies, injection of JTE-013 into the rat's hindpaw produced a significant increase in the mechanical sensitivity in the ipsilateral, but not contralateral, paw. Injection of JTE-013 did not affect the withdrawal latency to thermal stimulation. Thus JTE-013 augments neuronal excitability independently of S1PR(2) by unknown mechanisms that may involve activation of other G protein-coupled receptors such as S1PR(1). Clearly, further studies are warranted to establish the causal nature of this increased sensitivity, and future studies of neuronal function using JTE-013 should be interpreted with caution.


Chao Li, Xian Xuan Chi, Wenrui Xie, J A Strong, J-M Zhang, G D Nicol. Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 antagonist JTE-013 increases the excitability of sensory neurons independently of the receptor. Journal of neurophysiology. 2012 Sep;108(5):1473-83

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PMID: 22673325

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