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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Mar 2020 - 27 Mar 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Mar 18

Prog Neurobiol

MeCP2 mediates transgenerational transmission of chronic pain.


Tao W, Chen C, Wang Y, Zhou W, Jin Y, Mao Y, Wang H, Wang L, Xie W, Zhang X, Li J, Li J, Li X, Tang Z-Q, Zhou C, Pan ZZ, Zhang Z
Prog Neurobiol. 2020 Mar 18:101790.
PMID: 32200043.


Pain symptoms can be transmitted across generations, but the mechanisms underlying these outcomes remain poorly understood. Here, we identified an essential role for primary somatosensory cortical (S1) glutamate neuronal DNA methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the transgenerational transmission of pain. In a female mouse chronic pain model, the offspring displayed significant pain sensitization. In these mice, MeCP2 expression was increased in S1 glutamate (Glu) neurons, correlating with increased neuronal activity. Downregulation of Glu neuronal MeCP2 in maternal mice with pain abolished offspring pain sensitization, whereas overexpression of MeCP2 in naïve maternal mice induced pain sensitization in offspring. Notably, single-cell sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that the expression of a wide range of genes was changed in offspring and maternal Glu neurons, some of which were regulated by MeCP2. These results collectively demonstrate the putative importance of MeCP2 as a key regulator in pain transgenerational transmission through actions on Glu neuronal maladaptation.