Endothelin and the tumorigenic component of bone cancer pain

C. M. Peters, T. H. Lindsay, J. D. Pomonis, N. M. Luger, J. R. Ghilardi, M. A. Sevcik, P. W. Mantyh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Tumors including sarcomas and breast, prostate, and lung carcinomas frequently grow in or metastasize to the skeleton where they can induce significant bone remodeling and cancer pain. To define products that are released from tumors that are involved in the generation and maintenance of bone cancer pain, we focus here on endothelin-1 (ET-1) and endothelin receptors as several tumors including human prostate and breast have been shown to express high levels of ETs and the application of ETs to peripheral nerves can induce pain. Here we show that in a murine osteolytic 2472 sarcoma model of bone cancer pain, the 2472 sarcoma cells express high levels of ET-1, but express low or undetectable levels of endothelin A (ETAR) or B (ETBR) receptors whereas a subpopulation of sensory neurons express the ETAR and non-myelinating Schwann cells express the ETBR. Acute (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or chronic (10 mg/kg/day, p.o.) administration of the ETAR selective antagonist ABT-627 significantly attenuated ongoing and movement-evoked bone cancer pain and chronic administration of ABT-627 reduced several neurochemical indices of peripheral and central sensitization without influencing tumor growth or bone destruction. In contrast, acute treatment (30 mg/kg, i.p.) with the ETBR selective antagonist, A-192621 increased several measures of ongoing and movement evoked pain. As tumor expression and release of ET-1 has been shown to be regulated by the local environment, location specific expression and release of ET-1 by tumor cells may provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie the heterogeneity of bone cancer pain that is frequently observed in humans with multiple skeletal metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1052
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • CGRP
  • DRG
  • ET-1
  • GFAP
  • HBSS
  • Hanks' buffered salt solution
  • IR
  • LPS
  • NDS
  • bone remodeling
  • calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • dorsal root ganglion
  • endothelin-1
  • glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • immunoreactive
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • nociception
  • skeletal pain
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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