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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Oct 2023 - 20 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 16

Mol Pain


Mitochondrial transplantation attenuates traumatic neuropathic pain, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis in rats with nerve root ligation.


Huang CC, Chiu HY, Lee PH, Fang SY, Lin MW, Chen HF, Lee JS


Traumatic neuropathic pain (TNP) is caused by traumatic damage to the somatosensory system and induces the presentation of allodynia and hyperalgesia. Mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis are hallmarks in the pathogenesis of TNP. Recently, mitochondria-based therapy has emerged as a potential therapeutic intervention for diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunction. However, the therapeutic effectiveness of mitochondrial transplantation (MT) on TNP has rarely been investigated. Here, we validated the efficacy of MT in treating TNP. Both in vivo and in vitro TNP models by conducting an L5 spinal nerve ligation in rats and exposing the primary dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to capsaicin, respectively, were applied in this study. The MT was operated by administrating 100 µg of soleus-derived allogeneic mitochondria into the ipsilateral L5 DRG in vivo and the culture medium in vitro. Results showed that the viable transplanted mitochondria migrated into the rats’ spinal cord and sciatic nerve. MT alleviated the nerve ligation-induced mechanical and thermal pain hypersensitivity. The nerve ligation-induced glial activation and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptotic markers in the spinal cord were also repressed by MT. Consistently, exogenous mitochondria reversed the capsaicin-induced reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptotic markers in the primary DRG neurons in vitro. Our findings suggest that MT mitigates the spinal nerve ligation-induced apoptosis and neuroinflammation, potentially playing a role in providing neuroprotection against TNP.