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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 12

Mol Neurobiol


Foxg1 Modulation of the Prkcd Gene in the Lateral Habenula Mediates Trigeminal Neuralgia-Associated Anxiety-Like Behaviors in Mice.


Aji A, Zhang C, Liu W, Chen T, Liu Z, Zuo J, Li H, Mi W, Mao-Ying QL, Wang Y, Zhao Q, Chu YX


Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a debilitating disorder frequently accompanied by mood complications such as depression and anxiety. The current study sought to elucidate the molecular underpinnings that contribute to the pathogenesis of TN and its associated anxiety. Employing a partial transection of the infraorbital nerve (pT-ION) in a murine model, we successfully induced sustained primary and secondary orofacial allodynia alongside anxiety-like behavioral manifestations. Transcriptome-wide gene microarray analyses revealed a marked upregulation of Foxg1 subsequent to pT-ION. Targeted knockdown of Foxg1, achieved through bilateral microinjection of adeno-associated virus harboring Foxg1-specific shRNA into the lateral habenula (LHb), resulted in a significant attenuation of both orofacial pain and anxiety-like behaviors. Subsequent RNA sequencing implicated Prkcd as a downstream effector gene modulated by Foxg1. Pharmacological inhibition of protein kinase C delta, encoded by Prkcd, within the LHb markedly ameliorated pT-ION-induced symptomatology. The dual luciferase assay revealed that Foxg1 substantially enhances the transcriptional activity of the Prkcd gene. Collectively, these findings indicate that trigeminal nerve injury leads to Foxg1 upregulation in the LHb, which in turn elevates the expression of Prkcd, culminating in the manifestation of orofacial pain and anxiety-like behaviors. This work offers promising therapeutic targets and a conceptual framework for the clinical management of TN and its psychological comorbidities.