Indexed on: 22 Oct '16Published on: 22 Oct '16Published in: Molecular Pain
Voltage-gated sodium channels, which are involved in pain pathways, have emerged as major targets for therapeutic intervention in pain disorders. Nav1.7, the tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel isoform encoded by SCN9A and predominantly expressed in pain-sensing neurons in the dorsal root ganglion, plays a crucial role in nociception. MicroRNAs are highly conserved, small non-coding RNAs. Through binding to the 3' untranslated region of their target mRNAs, microRNAs induce the cleavage and/or inhibition of protein translation. Based on bioinformatics analysis using TargetScan software, we determined that miR-30b directly targets SCN9A To investigate the roles of Nav1.7 and miR-30b in neuropathic pain, we examined changes in the expression of Nav1.7 in the dorsal root ganglion by miR-30b over-expression or knockdown in rats with spared nerve injury. Our results demonstrated that the expression of miR-30b and Nav1.7 was down-regulated and up-regulated, respectively, in the dorsal root ganglion of spared nerve injury rats. MiR-30b over-expression in spared nerve injury rats inhibited SCN9A transcription, resulting in pain relief. In addition, miR-30b knockdown significantly increased hypersensitivity to pain in naive rats. We also observed that miR-30b decreased Nav1.7 expression in PC12 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-30b plays an important role in neuropathic pain by regulating Nav1.7 expression. Therefore, miR-30b may be a promising target for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.