Contribution of acidic extracellular microenvironment of cancer-colonized bone to bone pain

Toshiyuki Yoneda, Masahiro Hiasa, Yuki Nagata, Tatsuo Okui, Fletcher White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Solid and hematologic cancer colonized bone produces a number of pathologies. One of the most common complications is bone pain. Cancer-associated bone pain (CABP) is a major cause of increased morbidity and diminishes the quality of life and affects survival. Current treatments do not satisfactorily control CABP and can elicit adverse effects. Thus, new therapeutic interventions are needed to manage CABP. However, the mechanisms responsible for CABP are poorly understood. The observation that specific osteoclast inhibitors can reduce CABP in patients indicates a critical role of osteoclasts in the pathophysiology of CABP. Osteoclasts create an acidic extracellular microenvironment by secretion of protons via vacuolar proton pumps during bone resorption. In addition, bone-colonized cancer cells also release protons and lactate via plasma membrane pH regulators to avoid intracellular acidification resulting from increased aerobic glycolysis known as the Warburg effect. Since acidosis is algogenic for sensory neurons and bone is densely innervated by sensory neurons that express acid-sensing nociceptors, the acidic bone microenvironments can evoke CABP. Understanding of the mechanism by which the acidic extracellular microenvironment is created in cancer-colonized bone and the expression and function of the acid-sensing nociceptors are regulated should facilitate the development of novel approaches for management of CABP. Here, the contribution of the acidic microenvironment created in cancer-colonized bone to elicitation of CABP and potential therapeutic implications of blocking the development and recognition of acidic microenvironment will be described. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane channels and transporters in cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81810
Pages (from-to)2677-2684
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ASIC3
  • Bone metastasis
  • Monocarboxylate transporters
  • Osteoclastic bone resorption
  • TRPV1
  • Warburg effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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