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A role for protease activated receptor type 3 (PAR3) in nociception demonstrated through development of a novel peptide agonist

By Juliet Mwirigi, Moeno Kume, Shayne N Hassler, Ayesha Ahmad, Pradipta R Ray, Changyu Jiang, Alexander Chamessian, Nakleh Mseeh, Breya P Ludwig, Benjamin D Rivera, Marvin T. Nieman, Thomas Van de Ven, Ru-Rong Ji, Gregory Dussor, Scott Boitano, Josef Vagner, Theodore J Price

Posted 10 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.08.194373

The protease activated receptor (PAR) family is a group of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by proteolytic cleavage of the extracellular domain. PARs are expressed in a variety of cell types with crucial roles in hemostasis, immune responses, inflammation, and pain. PAR3 is the least researched of the four PARs, with little known about its expression and function. We sought to better understand its potential function in the peripheral sensory nervous system. Mouse single-cell RNA sequencing data demonstrates that PAR3 is widely expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Co-expression of PAR3 mRNA with other PARs was identified in various DRG neuron subpopulations, consistent with its proposed role as a coreceptor of other PARs. We developed a lipid tethered PAR3 agonist, C660, that selectively activates PAR3 by eliciting a Ca2+ response in DRG and trigeminal (TG) neurons. In vivo, C660 induces mechanical hypersensitivity and facial grimacing in WT but not PAR3-/- mice. We characterized other nociceptive phenotypes in PAR3-/- mice and found a loss of hyperalgesic priming in response to IL-6, carrageenan, and a PAR2 agonist, suggesting that PAR3 contributes to long-lasting nociceptor plasticity in some contexts. To examine a potential role of PAR3 in regulating activity of other PARs in sensory neurons, we administered PAR1, PAR2, and PAR4 agonists and assessed mechanical and affective pain behaviors in WT and PAR3-/- mice. We observed that the nociceptive effects of PAR1 agonists were potentiated in the absence of PAR3. Our findings suggest a complex role of PAR3 in the physiology and plasticity of nociceptors. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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