Experimental autoimmune prostatitis (EAP) is a murine model of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) in men, a syndrome characterized by chronic pelvic pain. We have demonstrated that chemokine ligands CCL2 and CCL3 are biomarkers that correlate with pelvic pain symptoms. We postulated that CCL2 and CCL3 play a functional role in CPPS and therefore examined their expression in EAP. Upon examination of the prostate 5 days after induction of EAP, CCL2 mRNA was elevated 2- to 3-fold, CCL8 by 15-fold, CCL12 by 12- to 13-fold, and CXCL9 by 2- to 4-fold compared with control mice. At 10 days the major chemokines were CXCL13 and CXCL2; at 20 days CCL2 (1- to 2-fold), CCL3 (2- to 3-fold) and CCL11 (2- to 3-fold); and at 30 days, CCL12 (20- to 35-fold) and smaller increases in CCL2, CCL3, and XCL1. Chemokine elevations were accompanied by increases in mast cells and B cells at 5 days, monocytes and neutrophils at day 10, CD4+ T cells at day 20, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at day 30. Anti-CCL2 and anti-CCL3 neutralizing antibodies administered at EAP onset attenuated pelvic pain development, but only anti-CCL2 antibodies were effective therapeutically. CCL2- and its cognate receptor CCR2-deficient mice were completely protected from development of pain symptoms but assumed susceptibility after reconstitution with wild-type bone marrow. CCL3-deficient mice showed resistance to the maintenance of pelvic pain while CCR5-deficient mice did not show any lessening of pelvic pain severity. These results suggest that the CCL2-CCR2 axis and CCL3 are important mediators of chronic pelvic pain in EAP.
- chronic pain
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