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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Expression profiling of genes modulated by minocycline in a rat model of neuropathic pain

Ewelina Rojewska1, Michal Korostynski2, Ryszard Przewlocki2, Barbara Przewlocka1 and Joanna Mika1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pain Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland

2 Department of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland

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Molecular Pain 2014, 10:47  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-10-47

Published: 19 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The molecular mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain are constantly being studied to create new opportunities to prevent or alleviate neuropathic pain. The aim of our study was to determine the gene expression changes induced by sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI) that are modulated by minocycline, which can effectively diminish neuropathic pain in animal studies. The genes associated with minocycline efficacy in neuropathic pain should provide insight into the etiology of neuropathic pain and identify novel therapeutic targets.

Results

We screened the ipsilateral dorsal part of the lumbar spinal cord of the rat CCI model for differentially expressed genes. Out of 22,500 studied transcripts, the abundance levels of 93 transcripts were altered following sciatic nerve ligation. Percentage analysis revealed that 54 transcripts were not affected by the repeated administration of minocycline (30 mg/kg, i.p.), but the levels of 39 transcripts were modulated following minocycline treatment. We then selected two gene expression patterns, B1 and B2. The first transcription pattern, B1, consisted of 10 mRNA transcripts that increased in abundance after injury, and minocycline treatment reversed or inhibited the effect of the injury; the B2 transcription pattern consisted of 7 mRNA transcripts whose abundance decreased following sciatic nerve ligation, and minocycline treatment reversed the effect of the injury. Based on the literature, we selected seven genes for further analysis: Cd40, Clec7a, Apobec3b, Slc7a7, and Fam22f from pattern B1 and Rwdd3 and Gimap5 from pattern B2. Additionally, these genes were analyzed using quantitative PCR to determine the transcriptional changes strongly related to the development of neuropathic pain; the ipsilateral DRGs (L4-L6) were also collected and analyzed in these rats using qPCR.

Conclusion

In this work, we confirmed gene expression alterations previously identified by microarray analysis in the spinal cord and analyzed the expression of selected genes in the DRG. Moreover, we reviewed the literature to illustrate the relevance of these findings for neuropathic pain development and therapy. Further studies are needed to elucidate the roles of the individual genes in neuropathic pain and to determine the therapeutic role of minocycline in the rat neuropathic pain model.

Keywords:
Microarray DNA; Neuropathic pain; Minocycline; Pain-related genes