The size and modular structure of versican and its gene suggests the existence of multiple splice variants. We have identified, cloned and sequenced a previously unknown exon located within the non-coding gene sequence downstream of exon 8. This exon, which we have named exon 8 specifies two stop-codons. mRNAs of the versican gene with exon 8 are predicted to be constitutively degraded by nonsense mediated RNA decay. Here we tested the hypothesis that these transcripts become expressed in a model of neuropathic pain.