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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Mar 2022 - 25 Mar 2022

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


Front Pharmacol


5-HT Receptor Agonist Ameliorates Mechanical Allodynia in Neuropathic Pain via Induction of Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Suppression of Neuroinflammation.


Zhang L-Q, Zhou Y-Q, Li J-Y, Sun J, Zhang S, Wu J-Y, Gao S-J, Tian X-B, Mei W
Front Pharmacol. 2022; 13:834570.
PMID: 35308244.


Neuropathic pain is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is involved in pain modulation. Several lines of evidence have indicated that 5-HT receptor agonists are potent inducers of mitochondrial biogenesis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that 5-HT receptor agonists ameliorate mechanical allodynia in neuropathic pain via the induction of mitochondrial biogenesis and suppression of neuroinflammation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used to establish a neuropathic pain model via spared nerve injury (SNI). The paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) was used to evaluate mechanical allodynia. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to examine the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to examine the expression of target proteins. Our results showed that mitochondrial biogenesis was impaired in the spinal cord of rats with SNI. Moreover, activation of PGC-1α, the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, attenuates established mechanical allodynia in rats with neuropathic pain. In addition, the neuronal 5-HT receptor is significantly downregulated in the spinal cord of rats with neuropathic pain. Furthermore, the selective 5-HT receptor agonist lasmiditan attenuated established mechanical allodynia in rats with neuropathic pain. Finally, lasmiditan (Las) treatment restored mitochondrial biogenesis and suppressed neuroinflammation in the spinal cord of rats with SNI. These results provide the first evidence that lasmiditan ameliorates mechanical allodynia in neuropathic pain by inducing mitochondrial biogenesis and suppressing neuroinflammation in the spinal cord. Inducers of mitochondrial biogenesis may be an encouraging therapeutic option for the management of neuropathic pain.