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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Basic Science

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

Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 10

Hum Cell


EphA1 aggravates neuropathic pain by activating CXCR4/RhoA/ROCK2 pathway in mice.


Li Q, Li R, Zhu X, Chu X, An X, Chen M, Zhang L, Gao M, Chen L


Neuropathic pain is a refractory disease with limited treatment options due to its complex mechanisms. Whereas erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte A1 (EphA1) mediates the production of inflammatory factors that are important in the progression of neurological diseases, its role and molecular mechanisms in neuropathic pain remain unclear. In the present study, we established a mouse model of chronic constriction injury (CCI). EphA1 expression was observed to be progressively upregulated at the mRNA and protein levels with the progression of the disease. Subsequently, knockdown of EphA1 expression levels using adenovirus short hairpin RNA (AAV-shEphA1) revealed an increase in mechanical stimulation withdrawal threshold (PWT) and withdrawal latency (PWL) when EphA1 expression was decreased, accompanied by improved dorsal root ganglion injury, increased leukocytosis, decreased microglia, and decreased levels of pro-inflammatory factors. For the underlying mechanism, it was found that EphA1 regulates the activity of the RhoA/ROCK2 pathway by modulating the level of CXCR4. Inhibition of CXCR4 and RhoA/ROCK2 could effectively alleviate the promoting effect of EphA1 upregulation on neuropathic pain. In conclusion, our study suggests that depletion of EphA1 ameliorates neuropathic pain by modulating the CXCR4/RhoA/ROCK2 signaling pathway, and targeting EphA1 may be a potential clinical treatment for neuropathic pain.