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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 May 2022 - 20 May 2022

Animal Studies

2022 May 17

Mol Neurobiol

BmK DKK13, A Scorpion Toxin, Alleviates Pain Behavior in a Rat Model of Trigeminal Neuralgia by Modulating Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels and MAPKs/CREB Pathway.


BmK DKK13 (DKK13) is a mutated recombinant peptide, which has a significant antinociception in a rat model of the inflammatory pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antinociceptive effect of DKK13 on trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were treated with the chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve (IoN-CCI) model to induce stable symptoms of TN. DKK13 (1.0 mg/kg, 2.0 mg/kg and 4.0 mg/kg, i.v.) or morphine (4.0 mg/kg, i.v.) was administered by tail vein once on day 14 after IoN-CCI injury. Behavioral tests, electrophysiology and western blotting were performed to investigate the role and underlying mechanisms of DKK13 on IoN-CCI model. Behavioral test results showed that DKK13 could significantly increase the mechanical pain and thermal radiation pain thresholds of IoN-CCI rats and inhibit the asymmetric spontaneous pain scratching behavior. Electrophysiological results showed that DKK13 could significantly reduce the current density of Nav1.8 in the ipsilateral side of trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons in IoN-CCI rats, and the steady-state activation and inactivation curves of Nav1.8 shifted, respectively, to the direction of hyperpolarization and depolarization. Western blotting results showed that DKK13 significantly reduced the expression of Nav1.8 and the phosphorylation levels of key proteins of MAPKs/CREB pathway in TG tissues of IoN-CCI rats. In brief, DKK13 has a significant antinociceptive effect on IoN-CCI rats, which may be achieved by changing the dynamic characteristics of Nav1.8 channel and regulating the protein phosphorylation in MAPKs/CREB pathway.