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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Aug 2023 - 25 Aug 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Genetics, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Neuropathic Pain


Front Immunol



Neat1 lncRNA organizes the inflammatory gene expressions in the dorsal root ganglion in neuropathic pain caused by nerve injury.


Maruyama M, Sakai A, Fukunaga T, Miyagawa Y, Okada T, Hamada M, Suzuki H


Primary sensory neurons regulate inflammatory processes in innervated regions through neuro-immune communication. However, how their immune-modulating functions are regulated in concert remains largely unknown. Here, we show that Neat1 long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) organizes the proinflammatory gene expressions in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in chronic intractable neuropathic pain in rats. Neat1 was abundantly expressed in the DRG and was upregulated after peripheral nerve injury. Neat1 overexpression in primary sensory neurons caused mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity, whereas its knockdown alleviated neuropathic pain. Bioinformatics analysis of comprehensive transcriptome changes indicated the inflammatory response was the most relevant function of genes upregulated through Neat1. Consistent with this, upregulation of proinflammatory genes in the DRG following nerve injury was suppressed by Neat1 knockdown. Expression changes of these proinflammatory genes were regulated through Neat1-mRNA interaction-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Notably, Neat1 increased proinflammatory genes by stabilizing its interacting mRNAs in neuropathic pain. Finally, Neat1 in primary sensory neurons contributed to spinal inflammatory processes that mediated peripheral neuropathic pain. These findings demonstrate that Neat1 lncRNA is a key regulator of neuro-immune communication in neuropathic pain.