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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Mar 2024 - 5 April 2024

2024 Mar 30



Editor's Pick

Skin keratinocyte-derived SIRT1 and BDNF modulate mechanical allodynia in mouse models of diabetic neuropathy.


O'Brien J, Niehaus P, Chang K, Remark J, Barrett J, Dasgupta A, Adenegan M, Salimian M, Kevas Y, Chandrasekaran K, Kristian T, Chellappan R, Rubin S, Kiemen A, Lu CP, Russell JW, Ho CY


Diabetic neuropathy is a debilitating disorder characterized by spontaneous and mechanical allodynia. The role of skin mechanoreceptors in the development of mechanical allodynia is unclear. We discovered that mice with diabetic neuropathy had decreased sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) deacetylase activity in foot skin, leading to reduced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and subsequent loss of innervation in Meissner corpuscles, a mechanoreceptor expressing the BDNF receptor TrkB. When SIRT1 was depleted from skin, the mechanical allodynia worsened in diabetic neuropathy mice, likely due to retrograde degeneration of the Meissner-corpuscle innervating Aβ axons and aberrant formation of Meissner corpuscles which may have increased the mechanosensitivity. The same phenomenon was also noted in skin-keratinocyte specific BDNF knockout mice. Furthermore, overexpression of SIRT1 in skin induced Meissner corpuscle reinnervation and regeneration, resulting in significant improvement of diabetic mechanical allodynia. Overall, the findings suggested that skin-derived SIRT1 and BDNF function in the same pathway in skin sensory apparatus regeneration and highlighted the potential of developing topical SIRT1-activating compounds as a novel treatment for diabetic mechanical allodynia.