Pain in chronic prostatitis and the role of ion channels: a brief overview
Cyril, Asha Caroline
Jan, Reem Kais
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Background: Prostatitis is the third most common urologic condition affecting more than half the male population at some point in their lives. There are different categories of prostatitis, of which approximately 90% of cases can be classified under the National Institute of Health (NIH) type III category (chronic prostatitis/ chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS)) with no causative agents identified. CP/CPPS is associated with several symptoms, of which the most prominent being chronic pain. Despite its high incidence, pain management in patients with CP/CPPS has been poor, possibly due to the lack of understanding of aetiological factors and mechanisms underlying pain development. Methods: An extensive literature search of published articles on the molecular mechanisms of pain in CP/CPPS was conducted using PubMed and Google Scholar search engines (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and https://scholar.google.com). The terms used for the search were: prostatitis, pain mechanism in CP/CPPS, prostatitis pain models, acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPVs), purinergic channels (P2X) in prostatitis pain mechanism and inflammatory mediators in CP/CPPS. The papers were identified based on the title and abstract, and after excluding the articles that did not emphasize the pain mechanism in CP/CPPS. Ninety-five articles (36 review and 59 original research papers) met our criteria and were included in the review. Results: A number of inflammatory mediator molecules and pain channels, including ASICs, transient receptor potential vanilloid channels (TRPVs) and P2Xs have been investigated for their role in prostatitis pain pathology using various animal models. Conclusion: This review summarizes the pain mechanisms in CP/CPPS focusing on the inflammatory mediators, neurotransmitters, pain-transducing ion channels and small animal models developed for studying prostatitis.