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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jul 2023 - 28 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Jul 18

Mol Pain


Urolithin A alleviates neuropathic pain and activates mitophagy.


Wang C, Wang Z, Xue S, Zhu Y, Jin J, Ren Q, Shi X


Neuropathic pain (NP) occurs frequently in the general population and has a negative impact on the quality of life. There is no effective therapy available yet owing to the complex pathophysiology of NP. In our previous study, we found that urolithin A (UA), a naturally occurring microflora-derived metabolite, could relieve NP in mice by inhibiting the activation of microglia and release of inflammation factors. Here in this study, we sought to investigate whether mitophagy would be activated when UA alleviated NP in mice. We showed that the autophagy flow was blocked in the spinal dorsal horn of the chronic constriction injury (CCI) mice when the most obvious pain behavior occurs. Intraperitoneal injection of UA markedly activated the mitophagy mediated by PTEN-induced kinase 1/Parkin, promoted mitobiogenesis in both neurons and microglia, and alleviated NP in the CCI mice. In summary, our data suggest that UA alleviates NP in mice and meanwhile induces mitophagy activation, which highlights a therapeutic potential of UA in the treatment of NP.