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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Basic Science

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

Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 08




Intrathecal administration of botulinum toxin type a antagonizes neuropathic pain by countering increased vesicular nucleotide transporter expression in the spinal cord of chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve rats.


Shi Y, Gong C, Nan W, Zhou W, Lei Z, Zhou K, Wang L, Zhao G, Zhang H


Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) induces direct analgesic effects in neuropathic pain by inhibiting the release of substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and glutamate. Vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) was responsible for the storage and release of ATP in vivo, and one of the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain is VNUT-dependent release of extracellular ATP from dorsal horn neurons. However, the analgesic effect of BoNT/A by affecting the expression of VNUT remained largely unknown. Thus, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the antinociceptive potency and analgesic mechanism of BoNT/A in chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve (CCI) induced neuropathic pain. Our results showed that a single intrathecal injection of 0.1 U BoNT/A seven days after CCI surgery produced significant analgesic activity and decreased the expression of VNUT in the spinal cord of CCI rats. Similarly, BoNT/A inhibited the CCI-induced increase in ATP content in the rat spinal cord. Overexpression of VNUT in the spinal cord of CCI-induced rats markedly reversed the antinociceptive effect of BoNT/A. Furthermore, 33 U/mL BoNT/A dramatically reduced the expression of VNUT in pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells but overexpressing SNAP-25 increased VNUT expression in PC12 cells. Our current study is the first to demonstrate that BoNT/A is involved in neuropathic pain by regulating the expression of VNUT in the spinal cord in rats.