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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 08

Neurochem Int


Oxidative stress mediated decrement of spinal endomorphin-2 contributes to lumbar disc herniation sciatica in rats.


Niu L, Zuo CJ, Zhang YL, Ma CX, Zhou XW, Sun SR, Tang XX, Huang GQ, Zhai SC


Increasing evidence supported that oxidative stress induced by herniated lumbar disc played important role in the formation of lumbar disc herniation sciatica (LDHS), however, the neural mechanisms underlying LDHS need further clarification. Endomorphin-2 (EM2) is the endogenous ligand for mu-opioid receptor (MOR), and there is increasing evidence implicating the involvement of spinal EM2 in neuropathic pain. In this study, using an nucleus pulposus implantation induced LDHS rat model that displayed obvious mechanical allodynia, it was found that the expression of EM2 in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord was significantly decreased. It was further found that oxidative stress in DRG and spinal cord was significantly increased in LDHS rats, and the reduction of EM2 in DRG and spinal cord was determined by oxidative stress dominated increment of dipeptidylpeptidase IV activity. A systemic treatment with antioxidant could prevent the forming of mechanical allodynia in LDHS rats. In addition, MOR expression in DRG and spinal cord remained unchanged in LDHS rats. Intrathecal injection of MOR antagonist promoted pain behavior in LDHS rats, and the analgesic effect of intrathecal injection of EM2 was stronger than that of endomorphin-1 and morphine. Taken together, our findings suggest that oxidative stress mediated decrement of EM2 in DRG and spinal cord causes the loss of endogenous analgesic effects and enhances the pain sensation of LDHS.