My friends at McGill University have recently published in depth methods for using siRNA to study pain. Dr. Philippe Sarret have done extensive work delivering siRNA + i-FectTM in vivo for gene expression analysis of specific pain receptors.
Here's a link to the book chapter from Springer Protocols:
25. Direct Application of siRNA for In Vivo Pain Research
By: Philippe Sarret , Louis Doré-Savard, Nicolas Beaudet
Affiliation(s): (1) Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
Book Title: RNA Interference: From Biology to Clinical Applications
Series: Methods in Molecular Biology Volume: 623 Pub. Date: May-01-2010 Page Range: 383-395 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-60761-588-0_25
Abstract: Pain is the new burden of the twenty-first century, raising enormous socio-economic costs to developed and underdeveloped countries. Chronic pain is a central nervous system (CNS) pathology, affecting a large proportion of the population. Morphine and its derivatives are still the golden clinical standards for treating pain although they induce severe side effects. To this day, we still have poor understanding of nociceptive pain and its underlying complex mechanisms; furthermore, novelty in clinical analgesics is lacking.
RNA interference technologies are promising both for pain research and treatment. This genetic approach will likely provide new insights into pain mechanisms and eventually offer nonpharmacological therapeutic approaches. In vivo research is thus crucial to reach this goal. Preclinical studies on rodents are necessary to validate small interfering RNA (siRNA) candidates and to target precise physiological pain modulators. Aiming treatment at the CNS is delicate work, and here we will describe how to perform adequate pain research using siRNA, including siRNA preparation and injection, animal behavioral models, and CNS tissue collection.