Monday, April 25, 2011

ASICs and Surgical Pain

Dr. Eric Lingueglia, an INSERM group leader, and his team at the CNRS IPMC/IN2M have been doing impressive research using our i-Fect ™ siRNA Transfection Kits to study the role of Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in Postoperative Pain.

The etiology and pathophysiology of this pain is poorly understood. Their work is shedding light on potential root causes:
Emmanuel Deval, Jacques Noël, Xavier Gasull1, Anne Delaunay, Abdelkrim Alloui, Valérie Friend, Alain Eschalier, Michel Lazdunski, and Eric Lingueglia. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in Postoperative Pain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 20 April 2011, 31(16): 6059-6066; doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.5266-10.2011.

...Ten microliters of a siRNA (2 μg)/i-Fect (Neuromics) mix was injected intrathecally between the L4 and L5 vertebrae of rats using a Hamilton syringe and a 25 gauge needle. Animals received one injection per day for 4 d (Fig. 4A, protocol). ASIC3 (CUACACGCUAUGCCAAGGAdtdt) and the corresponding scramble (GCUCACACUACGCAGAGAUdtdt) siRNAs have been previously described (Deval et al., 2008)...

Highlights: Pharmacological inhibition of ASIC3 channels with the specific toxin APETx2 or in vivo knockdown of ASIC3 subunit by small interfering RNA led to a significant reduction of postoperative spontaneous, thermal, and postural pain behaviors (spontaneous flinching, heat hyperalgesia, and weight bearing). ASIC3 appears to have an important role in deep tissue but also affects prolonged pain evoked by skin incision alone.

ASIC3s are excitatory ion channels directly activated by extracellular protons that detect the painful drops in pH at incision points. Several factors may participate in the drop of extracellular pH, such as release of the acidic content of lyzed cells, degranulation of mast cells, organic acids released by metabolism..etc  This makes makes the Ion Channel a great marker for the studying activation of pain and a potential therapeutic target for mitigating surgical pain.

I will continue to track and report progress.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Delivering TRPV1 shRNA to DRG of T8-L3 Segments of the Spinal Cord

I have reported use of our i-FectTM siRNA delivery kit for gene expression analysis studies of DOR, hTERT, The β3 subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase, rSNSR1, NTS1. NAV1.8, Survivin, Flaviviruses and more.

This is the first publication referencing the use of i-Fect to delivery shRNA intrathecally. In this study, researchers knockdown TRPV1 Channels in DRGs to study their role in regulation of blood pressure.

Shuang-Quan Yu, Donna H. Wang. Intrathecal injection of TRPV1 shRNA leads to increases in blood pressure in rats. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2011.02285.x. Copyright © 2011 Scandinavian Physiological Society.

Aim: The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels have been implicated to play a role in blood pressure regulation. However, contribution of tissue specific TRPV1 to blood pressure regulation is largely unknown. Here we test the hypothesis that TRPV1 expressed in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of lower thoracic and upper lumbar segments (T8-L3) of the spinal cord and their central and peripheral terminals constitutes a counter regulatory mechanism preventing the increases in blood pressure.

Methods: TRPV1 was knocked down by intrathecal injection of TRPV1 shRNA in rats. Systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were recorded. The level of TRPV1 and tyrosine hydroxylase was measured by Western blot.

Results: Intrathecal injection of TRPV1 shRNA (6 μg kg−1 per day) for 3 days increased systolic blood pressure and MAP when compared to rats that received control shRNA (control shRNA: 112±2 vs TRPV1 shRNA: 123±2 mmHg). TRPV1 expression was suppressed in T8-L3 segments of dorsal horn and DRG as well as mesenteric arteries of rats given TRPV1 shRNA. Contents of tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of sympathetic nerves, were increased in mesenteric arteries of rats treated with TRPV1 shRNA. Pretreatment with the 1-adrenoceptor blocker, prazosin (1 mg/kg/day, p.o.), abolished the TRPV1 shRNA-induced pressor effects.

Conclusion: Our data show that selective knockdown of TRPV1 expressed in DRG of T8-L3 segments of the spinal cord and their central and peripheral terminals increases blood pressure, suggesting that neuronal TRPV1 in these segments possesses a tonic anti-hypertensive effect possibly via suppression of the sympathetic nerve activity.