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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 May 31

Mol Pain


Role of ERK in gender difference of fibromyalgia pain.


Chang JH, Chen KW, Tsai SY, Zeng YJ, Li CY, Chen KB, Wen YR


This study investigated the ERK pathway of the peripheral nervous system and discovered a gender-specific pattern of ERK activation in the dorsal root ganglion of an acid-induced chronic widespread muscular pain model. We employed a twice acid-induced chronic musculoskeletal pain model in rats to evaluate mechanical pain behavior in both male and female groups. We further conducted protein analysis of dissected dorsal root ganglions from both genders. Both male and female rats exhibited a similar pain behavior trend, with females demonstrating a lower pain threshold. Protein analysis of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) showed a significant increase in phosphorylated ERK after the second acid injection in all groups. However, phosphorylation of ERK was observed in the dorsal root ganglion, with higher levels in the male ipsilateral group compared to the female group. Moreover, there was a no difference between the left and right sides in males, whereas the significant difference was observed in females. In conclusions, the administration of acid injections induced painful behavior in rats, and concurrent with this, a significant upregulation of pERK was observed in the dorsal root ganglia, with a greater magnitude of increase in males than females, and in the contralateral side compared to the ipsilateral side. Our findings shed light on the peripheral mechanisms underlying chronic pain disorders and offer potential avenues for therapeutic intervention.