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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Feb 09

Mol Pain


Inhibition of NKCC1 in Spinal Dorsal Horn and Dorsal Root Ganglion Results in Alleviation of Neuropathic Pain in Rats with Spinal Cord Contusion.


Wu Y, Wang F


Previous studies have confirmed the relationship between chloride homeostasis and pain. However, the role of sodium potassium chloride co-transporter isoform 1 (NKCC1) in dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGs) in spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced neuropathic pain (NP) remains inconclusive. Therefore, we aimed to explore whether suppression of NKCC1 in the spinal cord and DRGs alleviate the NP of adult rats with thoracic spinal cord contusion. Thirty adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (8-week-old, weighing 250-280 g) were randomly divided into three groups with ten animals in each group (sham, SCI, and bumetanide groups). The paw withdrawal mechanical threshold and paw withdrawal thermal latency were recorded before injury (baseline) and on post-injury days 14, 21, 28, and 35. At the end of experiment, western blotting analysis, quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence were performed to quantify NKCC1 expression. Our results revealed that NKCC1 protein expression in the spinal cord and DRGs was significantly up-regulated in rats with SCI. Intraperitoneal treatment of bumetanide (an NKCC1 inhibitor) reversed the expression of NKCC1 in the dorsal horn and DRGs and ameliorated mechanical ectopic pain and thermal hypersensitivities in the SCI rats. Our study demonstrated the occurrence of NKCC1 overexpression in the spinal cord and DRGs in a rodent model of NP and indicated that changes in the peripheral nervous system also play a major role in promoting pain sensitization after SCI.