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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Mar 2023 - 24 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Cancer Pain, Musculoskeletal Pain


Mol Pain



Rac1/PAK1 signaling contributes to bone cancer pain by Regulation dendritic spine remodeling in rats.


Xu L, Yang L, Wu Y, Wan X, Tang X, Xu Y, Chen Q, Liu Y, Liu S


Bone cancer pain (BCP) is severe chronic pain caused by tumor metastasis to the bones, often resulting in significant skeletal remodeling and fractures. Currently, there is no curative treatment. Therefore, insight into the underlying mechanisms could guide the development of mechanism-based therapeutic strategies for BCP. We speculated that Rac1/PAK1 signaling plays a critical role in the development of BCP. Tumor cells implantation (TCI) into the tibial cavity resulted in bone cancer-associated mechanical allodynia. Golgi staining revealed changes in the excitatory synaptic structure of WDR (Wide-dynamic range) neurons in the spinal cord, including increased postsynaptic density (PSD) length and thickness, and width of the cleft. Behavioral and western blotting test revealed that the development and persistence of pain correlated with Rac1/PAK1 signaling activation in primary sensory neurons. Intrathecal injection of NSC23766, a Rac1 inhibitor, reduced the persistence of BCP as well as reversed the remodeling of dendrites. Therefore, we concluded that activation of the Rac1/PAK1 signaling pathway in the spinal cord plays an important role in the development of BCP through remodeling of dendritic spines. Modulation of the Rac1/PAK1 pathway may be a potential strategy for BCP treatment.