Current Issue - May/June 2023 - Vol 26 Issue 3


  1. 2023;26;E213-E222Reduction of SIRT1-Mediated Epigenetic Upregulation of Nav1.7 Contributes to Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Pain
    Animal Study
    Ling-Jun Xu, MD, Jing Wang, MD, Yu-Dan Li, BS, Kai-Feng Shen, PhD, Xing-Hui He, BS, Wei Wu, BS, and Cui-Cui Liu, MD.

BACKGROUND: Clinically, neuropathic pain is a severe side effect of oxaliplatin chemotherapy, which usually leads to dose reduction or cessation of treatment. Due to the unawareness of detailed mechanisms of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain, it is difficult to develop an effective therapy and limits its clinical use.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to identify the role of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) reduction in epigenetic regulation of the expression of voltage-gated sodium channels 1.7 (Nav1.7) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) during oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain.

STUDY DESIGN: Controlled animal study.

SETTING: University laboratory.

METHODS: The von Frey test was performed to evaluate pain behavior in rats. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, electrophysiological recording, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) were used to illustrate the mechanisms.  

RESULTS: In the present study, we found that both the activity and expression of SIRT1 were significantly decreased in rat DRG following oxaliplatin treatment. The activator of SIRT1, resveratrol, not only increased the activity and expression of SIRT1, but also attenuated the mechanical allodynia following oxaliplatin treatment. In addition, local knockdown of SIRT1 by intrathecal injection of SIRT1 siRNA  caused mechanical allodynia in naive rats. Besides, oxaliplatin treatment enhanced the action potential firing frequency of DRG neurons and the expression of Nav1.7 in DRG and activation of SIRT1 by resveratrol reversed this effect. Furthermore, blocking Nav1.7 by ProTx II (a selective Nav1.7 channel blocker) reversed oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia. In addition, histone H3 hyperacetylation at the Nav1.7 promoter in DRG of rats following oxaliplatin treatment was significantly suppressed by activation of SIRT1 with resveratrol. Moreover, both the expression of Nav1.7 and histone H3 acetylation at the Nav1.7 promoter were upregulated in the DRG by local knockdown of SIRT1 with SIRT1 siRNA in naive rats.

LIMITATIONS: More underlying mechanism(s) of SIRT1 reduction after oxaliplatin treatment needs to be explored in future research.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that reduction of SIRT1-mediated epigenetic upregulation of Nav1.7 in the DRG contributes to the development of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain in rats. The intrathecal drug delivery treatment of activating SIRT1 might be a novel therapeutic option for oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain.  

KEY WORDS: SIRT1, neuropathic pain, dorsal root ganglion, NAV1.7 voltage-gated sodium channel, oxaliplatin