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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Sep 2023 - 8 Sep 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Genetics, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Sep 05

Transl Res


Employing the sustained-release properties of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles to reveal a novel mechanism of sodium-hydrogen exchanger 1 in neuropathic pain.


Wu J, Jin M, Tran Q, Kim M, Kim SI, Shin J, Park H, Shin N, Kang H, Shin HJ, Lee SY, Cui SB, Lee CJ, Lee WH, Kim DW


Neuropathic pain is caused by injury or disease of the somatosensory system, and its course is usually chronic. Several studies have been dedicated to investigating neuropathic pain-related targets; however, little attention has been paid to the persistent alterations that these targets, some of which may be crucial to the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain. The present study aimed to identify potential targets that may play a crucial role in neuropathic pain and validate their long-term impact. Through bioinformatics analysis of RNA sequencing results, we identified Slc9a1 and validated the reduced expression of sodium-hydrogen exchanger 1 (NHE1), the protein that Slc9a1 encodes, in the spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model. Colocalization analysis revealed that NHE1 is primarily co-localized with vesicular glutamate transporter 2 -positive neurons. In vitro experiments confirmed that poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with siRNA successfully inhibited NHE1 in SH-SY5Y cells, lowered intracellular pH, and increased intracellular calcium concentrations. In vivo experiments showed that sustained suppression of spinal NHE1 expression by siRNA-loaded nanoparticles resulted in delayed hyperalgesia in naïve and SNL model rats, whereas amiloride-induced transient suppression of NHE1 expression yielded no significant changes in pain sensitivity. We identified Slc9a1, which encodes NHE1, as a key gene in neuropathic pain. Utilizing the sustained release properties of nanoparticles enabled us to elucidate the chronic role of decreased NHE1 expression, establishing its significance in the mechanisms of neuropathic pain.