I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Aug 2023 - 25 Aug 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Genetics, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug 20

Transl Res


Transcription factor EBF1 mitigates neuropathic pain by rescuing Kv1.2 expression in primary sensory neurons.


Liang Y, Sharma D, Wang B, Wang H, Feng X, Ma R, Berkman T, Char S, Bekker A, Tao YX


Nerve injury-induced alternations of gene expression in primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) are molecular basis of neuropathic pain genesis. Transcription factors regulate gene expression. In this study, we examined whether early B cell factor 1 (EBF1), a transcription factor, in the DRG participated in neuropathic pain caused by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve. EBF1 was distributed exclusively in neuronal nucleus and co-expressed with cytoplasmic/membrane Kv1.2 in individual DRG neurons. The expression of Ebf1 mRNA and protein was time-dependently downregulated in the ipsilateral lumbar (L) 3/4 DRGs after unilateral CCI. Rescuing this downregulation through microinjection of the adeno-associated virus 5 expressing full-length Ebf1 mRNA into the ipsilateral L3/4 DRGs reversed the CCI-induced decrease of DRG Kv1.2 expression and alleviated the development and maintenance of mechanical, heat and cold hypersensitivities. Conversely, mimicking the downregulation of DRG EBF1 through microinjection of AAV5-expressing Ebf1 shRNA into unilateral L3/4 DRGs produced a reduction of Kv1.2 expression in the ipsilateral L3/4 DRGs, spontaneous pain and the enhanced responses to mechanical, heat and cold stimuli in naive mice. Mechanistically, EBF1 not only bound to Kcna2 gene (encoding Kv1.2) promoter but also directly activated its activity. CCI decreased the EBF1 binding to Kcna2 promoter in the ipsilateral L3/4 DRGs. Our findings suggest that DRG EBF1 downregulation contributes to neuropathic pain likely by losing its binding to Kcna2 promoter and subsequently silencing Kv1.2 expression in primary sensory neurons. Exogenous EBF1 administration may mitigate neuropathic pain by rescuing DRG Kv1.2 expression.