Spatiotemporal pattern of concurrent spinal and supraspinal NF-κB expression after peripheral nerve injury

J Pain. 2011 Jan;12(1):13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2010.03.018. Epub 2010 May 26.


The expression of NF-κB in the spinal cord is associated with neuropathic pain. However, little is known about its expression beyond the spinal cord. Here we examined a spatial and temporal pattern of the NF-κB expression in both spinal and supraspinal regions. After chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve, NF-κB (p65) expression was significantly increased in the ipsilateral spinal cord. In contrast, the NF-κB expression in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex was decreased with no significant differences seen in the thalamus. In the contralateral anterior cingulate cortex, the NF-κB expression was increased significantly on day 14 as compared with the sham group. In the contralateral amygdala, the NF-κB expression showed a time-dependent downregulation after CCI, which became significant on day 14. MK-801 reduced nociceptive behaviors and reversed the direction of NF-κB expression. These results indicate that the CCI-induced expression of p65 NF-κB is both time-dependent and region-specific, in areas that process both sensory-discriminative and motivational-affective dimensions of pain.

Perspective: This article presents a spatiotemporal mapping of the NF-κB expression in spinal and supraspinal regions after peripheral nerve injury. These findings point to an involvement of NF-κB beyond the spinal cord in both the sensory discriminative and emotional affective aspects of neuropathic pain processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / therapeutic use
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Somatosensory Cortex / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Synaptotagmin I / metabolism
  • Thalamus / metabolism
  • Thalamus / pathology


  • NF-kappa B
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Synaptotagmin I
  • Dizocilpine Maleate