Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) expressed in nociceptors is directly phosphorylated and activated by protein kinase C, and involved in the signaling of pancreatic pain. On the other hand, Cav3.2 T-type Ca2+ channels expressed in nociceptors are functionally upregulated by phosphorylation with protein kinase A and also play a role in pancreatitis-related pain. Calcineurin, a phosphatase, negatively regulates various channel functions including TRPV1, and calcineurin inhibitor-induced pain syndrome by tacrolimus, a calcineurin inhibitor, used as an immunosuppressant, has been a clinical problem. We thus examined the effect of tacrolimus on pancreatitis-related pain in mice. Repeated treatment with cerulein caused referred hyperalgesia accompanying acute pancreatitis, which was unaffected by tacrolimus. Pancreatitis-related symptoms disappeared in 24 h, whereas the referred hyperalgesia recurred following the administration of tacrolimus, which was abolished by the blockers of TRPV1 but not T-type Ca2+ channels. Thus, tacrolimus appears to cause the TRPV1-dependent relapse of pancreatitis-related pain, suggesting the involvement of calcineurin in the termination of pancreatic pain.

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