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Papers: 16 Feb 2019 - 22 Feb 2019

Animal Studies

2019 May 15

ACS Chem Neurosci



The contributions of mTOR activation-mediated upregulation of synapsin II and neurite outgrowth to hyperalgesia in STZ-induced diabetic rats.


He W-Y, Zhang B, Zhao W-C, He J, Zhang L, Xiong Q-M, Wang J, Wang H-B
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2019 May 15; 10(5):2385-2396.
PMID: 30785256.


Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is among the common complications in diabetes mellitus (DM), with its underlying mechanisms largely unknown. Synapsin II is primarily expressed in the spinal dorsal horn, and its upregulation mediates a superfluous release of glutamate and a deficiency of GABAergic interneuron synaptic transmission, which is directly implicated in the facilitation of pain signals in the hyperalgesic nociceptive response. Recently, synapsin II has been revealed to be associated with the modulation of neurite outgrowth, whereas the process of this neuronal structural neuroplasticity following neuronal hyperexcitability still remains unclear. In this study, we found that under conditions of elevated glucose, TNF-α induced the activation of mTOR, mediating the upregulation of synapsin II and neurite outgrowth in dorsal horn neurons. In vivo, we demonstrated that mTOR and synapsin II were upregulated and co-expressed in the spinal dorsal horn neurons in rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Furthermore, the intrathecal administration of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin or synapsin II shRNA significantly diminished the expression of synapsin II, effectively mitigating hyperalgesia in PDN rats. We are the first to discover that in STZ-induced diabetic rats the activation of mTOR mediates the upregulation of synapsin II and neurite outgrowth, both contributing to hyperalgesia. These findings may benefit the clinical therapy of PDN by provision of a novel target.