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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Jan 2019 - 18 Jan 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Differential regulation of GSK-3β in spinal dorsal horn and in hippocampus mediated by IL-1β contributes to pain hypersensitivity and memory deficits following peripheral nerve injury.


Mai C-L, Wei X, Xu Y-N, Zhang J, Lin Z J, Tan Z, Meng Y-T, Li Y-Y, Zhou L-J, Liu X-G
Mol Pain. 2019 Jan-Dec; 15:1744806919826789.
PMID: 30632435.


Accumulating evidence shows that inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3β) ameliorates cognitive impairments caused by a diverse array of diseases. Our previous work show that spared nerve injury (SNI) that induces neuropathic pain causes short-term memory (STM) deficits.Here,we reported that GSK-3β activity was enhanced in hippocampus and reduced in spinal dorsal horn following SNI, and the changes persisted for at least 45 d. Repetitive applications of selective GSK-3β inhibitors (SB216763, 5 mg/kg, i.p., 3 times or AR-A014418, 400 ng/kg, i.t., 7 times) prevented STM deficits but did not affect neuropathic pain in SNI rats. Surprisingly, we found that the repetitive SB216763 or AR-A014418 induced a persistent pain hypersensitivity in sham animals. Mechanistically,both β-catenin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were upregulated in spinal dorsal horn but downregulated in hippocampus following SNI. Injections of SB216763 prevented the BDNF downregulation in hippocampus but enhanced BDNF upregulation in spinal dorsal horn in SNI rats. In sham rats SB216763 upregulated both β-catenin and BDNF in spinal dorsal horn but not affect neither of them in hippocampus. Finally, intravenous injection of interleukin-1beta that induces pain hypersensitivity and memory deficits mimicked the SNI-induced the differential regulation of GSK-3β/β-catenin/BDNF in spinal dorsal horn and in hippocampus. Accordingly, the prolonged opposite changes of GSK-3β activity in hippocampus and in spinal dorsal horn induced by SNI may contribute to Molecular Pain memory deficits and neuropathic pain by differential regulation of BDNF in the two regions. GSK-3β inhibitors that treat cognitive disorders may result in a long-lasting pain hypersensitivity.