Peripheral and orofacial pain sensation is unaffected by the loss of p39. Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract: Cdk5 is a key neuronal kinase necessary for proper brain development, which has recently been implicated in modulating nociception. Conditional deletion of Cdk5 in pain-sensing neurons attenuates pain responses to heat in both the periphery and orofacial regions. Cdk5 activity is regulated by binding to the activators p35 and p39, both of which possess a cyclin box. Our previous examination of the nociceptive role of the well-characterized Cdk5 activator p35 using mice that either lack or overexpress this regulatory subunit demonstrated that Cdk5/p35 activity affects mechanical, chemical, and thermal nociception. In contrast, the nociceptive role of Cdk5’s other less-studied activator p39 is unknown. Here, we report that the knockout of p39 in mice did not affect orofacial and peripheral nociception. The lack of any algesic response to nociceptive stimuli in the p39 knockout mice contrasts with the hypoalgesic effects that result from the deletion of p35. Our data demonstrate different and nonoverlapping roles of Cdk5 activators in the regulation of orofacial as well as peripheral nociception with a crucial role for Cdk5/p35 in pain signaling.

publication date

  • January 2017