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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Dec 2023 - 29 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 26

Neurosci Bull


Tau Accumulation in the Spinal Cord Contributes to Chronic Inflammatory Pain by Upregulation of IL-1β and BDNF.


Zhang S, Chen Y, Wang Y, Wang H, Yao D, Chen G


Microtubule-associated protein Tau is responsible for the stabilization of neuronal microtubules under normal physiological conditions. Much attention has been focused on Tau’s contribution to cognition, but little research has explored its role in emotions such as pain, anxiety, and depression. In the current study, we found a significant increase in the levels of p-Tau (Thr231), total Tau, IL-1β, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on day 7 after complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) injection; they were present in the vast majority of neurons in the spinal dorsal horn. Microinjection of Mapt-shRNA recombinant adeno-associated virus into the spinal dorsal cord alleviated CFA-induced inflammatory pain and inhibited CFA-induced IL-1β and BDNF upregulation. Importantly, Tau overexpression was sufficient to induce hyperalgesia by increasing the expression of IL-1β and BDNF. Furthermore, the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta partly contributed to Tau accumulation. These findings suggest that Tau in the dorsal horn could be a promising target for chronic inflammatory pain therapy.