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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Jun 2022 - 17 Jun 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Jun 14

J Mol Neurosci

MiR-106b-5p Attenuates Neuropathic Pain by Regulating the P2X4 Receptor in the Spinal Cord in Mice.


Du H, Wu D, Zhong S, Wei X, Yuan Z, Gong Q
J Mol Neurosci. 2022 Jun 14.
PMID: 35699833.


The P2X4 receptor (P2X4R) can be upregulated after nerve injury, and its mediated spinal microglial activation makes a critical contribution to pathologically enhanced pain processing in the dorsal horn. Although some studies have partly clarified the mechanism underlying altered P2X4R expression, the specific mechanism is not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs which control gene expression by binding with their target mRNAs. Thus, in the present study, we investigated whether miRNA is involved in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain by regulating P2X4R. Our results showed that P2X4R was upregulated in the spinal dorsal horn of mice following spared nerve injury (SNI), and 69 miRNAs (46 upregulated and 23 downregulated miRNAs) were differentially expressed (fold change > 2.0, P < 0.05). P2X4R was found to be a major target of miR-106b-5p (one of the downregulated miRNAs) using bioinformatics technology; quantitative real-time PCR analysis confirmed the change in expression of miR-106b-5p, and dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed the correlation between them. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was used to show cell co-localization of P2X4R and miR-106b-5p in the spinal dorsal horn. Transfection with miR-106b-5p mimic into BV2 cells reversed the upregulation of P2X4R induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Moreover, miR-106b-5p overexpression significantly attenuated neuropathic pain induced by SNI, with decreased expression of P2X4R mRNA and protein in the spinal dorsal horn; intrathecal miR-106b-5p antagomir induced pain behaviors, and increased expression of P2X4R in the spinal dorsal horn of naïve mice. These data suggest that miR-106b-5p can serve as an important regulator of neuropathic pain development by targeting P2X4R.