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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Feb 2023 - 10 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular

2023 Feb 07

J Neurochem


The role of Ectopic P granules protein 5 homolog (EPG5) in DHPG-induced pain sensitization in mice.


Mei X, Yin C, Pan Y, Chen L, Wu C, Li X, Feng Z


Nociplastic pain is a severe health problem, while its mechanisms are still unclear. (R, S)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) is a group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist that can cause central sensitization, which plays a role in nociplastic pain. In this study, after intrathecal injection of 25 nmol DHPG for three consecutive days, whole proteins were extracted from the L lumbar spinal cord of mice 2 hours after intrathecal administration on the third day for proteomics analysis. Based on the results, 15 downregulated and 20 upregulated proteins were identified in mice. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and Western bloting (WB) revealed that the expression of Ectopic P granules protein 5 homolog (EPG5) mRNA and protein were significantly upregulated compared with the control group, which was consistent with the proteomics results. Originally identified in the genetic screening of Caenorhabditis elegans, EPG5 is mainly involved in regulating autophagy in the body, and in our study, it was mainly expressed in spinal neurons, as revealed by immunohistochemistry staining. After the intrathecal injection of 8 μL adeno-associated virus (AAV)-EPG5 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) to knock down spinal EPG5, the hyperalgesia caused by DHPG was relieved. Altogether, these results suggest that EPG5 plays an important role in DHPG-induced pain sensitization in mice.