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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Dec 2021 - 17 Dec 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Dec 10

Neurosci Bull

Targeting GATA1 and p2x7r Locus Binding in Spinal Astrocytes Suppresses Chronic Visceral Pain by Promoting DNA Demethylation.


Wu Y-Y, Zhang H-L, Lu X, Du H, Li Y-C, Zhang P-A, Xu G-Y
Neurosci Bull. 2021 Dec 10.
PMID: 34890016.


Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder of unknown etiology characterized by widespread, chronic abdominal pain associated with altered bowel movements. Increasing amounts of evidence indicate that injury and inflammation during the neonatal period have long-term effects on tissue structure and function in the adult that may predispose to gastrointestinal diseases. In this study we aimed to investigate how the epigenetic regulation of DNA demethylation of the p2x7r locus guided by the transcription factor GATA binding protein 1 (GATA1) in spinal astrocytes affects chronic visceral pain in adult rats with neonatal colonic inflammation (NCI). The spinal GATA1 targeting to DNA demethylation of p2x7r locus in these rats was assessed by assessing GATA1 function with luciferase assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, patch clamp, and interference in vitro and in vivo. In addition, a decoy oligodeoxynucleotide was designed and applied to determine the influence of GATA1 on the DNA methylation of a p2x7r CpG island. We showed that NCI caused the induction of GATA1, Ten-eleven translocation 3 (TET3), and purinergic receptors (P2X7Rs) in astrocytes of the spinal dorsal horn, and demonstrated that inhibiting these molecules markedly increased the pain threshold, inhibited the activation of astrocytes, and decreased the spinal sEPSC frequency. NCI also markedly demethylated the p2x7r locus in a manner dependent on the enhancement of both a GATA1-TET3 physical interaction and GATA1 binding at the p2x7r promoter. Importantly, we showed that demethylation of the p2x7r locus (and the attendant increase in P2X7R expression) was reversed upon knockdown of GATA1 or TET3 expression, and demonstrated that a decoy oligodeoxynucleotide that selectively blocked the GATA1 binding site increased the methylation of a CpG island in the p2x7r promoter. These results demonstrate that chronic visceral pain is mediated synergistically by GATA1 and TET3 via a DNA-demethylation mechanism that controls p2x7r transcription in spinal dorsal horn astrocytes, and provide a potential therapeutic strategy by targeting GATA1 and p2x7r locus binding.