Bladder pain relief by HMGB1 neutralization and soluble thrombomodulin in mice with cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis.
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), one of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), plays roles in not only inflammation but also processing of somatic pain. Given that no evidence for roles of HMGB1 in visceral pain signaling is available, we asked if HMGB1 participates in bladder pain accompanying cystitis caused by cyclophosphamide in mice, using the anti-HMGB1 neutralizing antibody and recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin (rhsTM) that sequesters HMGB1 and promotes its degradation by thrombin. Cyclophosphamide, administered i.p., caused bladder pain-like nociceptive behavior and referred hyperalgesia accompanying cystitis symptoms including increased bladder weight, an indicator of edema, in mice. The cyclophosphamide-induced bladder pain and referred hyperalgesia, but not increased bladder weight, were prevented by i.p. preadministration of the anti-HMGB1 neutralizing antibody or rhsTM. HMGB1, given i.p., facilitated the bladder pain and referred hyperalgesia caused by a subeffective dose of cyclophosphamide, an effect blocked by rhsTM. In the cyclophosphamide-treated mice, HMGB1 levels greatly decreased in the bladder tissue, particularly in the urothelial cells, but did not change in the plasma. Low molecular weight heparin, known to inhibit the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), but not lipopolysaccharide from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, an inhibitor of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), blocked the cyclophosphamide-induced bladder pain and referred hyperalgesia. Thus, our data indicate involvement of HMGB1 in the cyclophosphamide-induced bladder pain signaling, but not cystitis itself, and suggest that targeting HMGB1 with rhsTM or blocking RAGE might serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for the management of bladder pain.