Spinal pain is a major clinical problem, however, its origins and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we report that in mice, osteoclasts induce sensory innervation in the porous endplates which contributes to spinal hypersensitivity in mice. Sensory innervation of the porous areas of sclerotic endplates in mice was confirmed. Lumbar spine instability (LSI), or aging, induces spinal hypersensitivity in mice. In these conditions, we show that there are elevated levels of PGE2 which activate sensory nerves, leading to sodium influx through Nav 1.8 channels. We show that knockout of PGE2 receptor 4 in sensory nerves significantly reduces spinal hypersensitivity. Inhibition of osteoclast formation by knockout Rankl in the osteocytes significantly inhibits LSI-induced porosity of endplates, sensory innervation, and spinal hypersensitivity. Knockout of Netrin-1 in osteoclasts abrogates sensory innervation into porous endplates and spinal hypersensitivity. These findings suggest that osteoclast-initiated porosity of endplates and sensory innervation are potential therapeutic targets for spinal pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)