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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Jan 2023 - 13 Jan 2023

Animal Studies

2022 Dec 22


miR-1306-3p directly activates P2X3 receptors in primary sensory neurons to induce visceral pain in rats.


Mounting evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in various pathophysiological conditions and diseases, but the physiological roles of extracellular miRNAs on the disease-related ion channels remain largely unknown. Here, we showed that miR-1306-3p evoked action potentials and induced inward currents of the acutely isolated rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. The miR-1306-3p-induced effects were significantly inhibited by A317491, a potent inhibitor of the P2X3 receptor (P2X3R), or disappeared after the knockdown of P2X3Rs in DRG neurons. We further identified R180, K315, and R52 as the miR-1306-3p interaction sites on the extracellular domain of P2X3Rs, which were distinct from the orthosteric ATP-binding sites. Intrathecal injection of miR-1306-3p produced visceral pain but not somatic pain in normal control rats. Conversely, intrathecal application of a miR-1306-3p antagomir and A317491 significantly alleviated visceral pain in a rat model of chronic visceral pain. Together, our findings suggest that miR-1306-3p might function as an endogenous ligand to activate P2X3Rs, eventually leading to chronic visceral pain.