Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 49, 119-29

MicroRNA-146a-5p Attenuates Neuropathic Pain via Suppressing TRAF6 Signaling in the Spinal Cord


MicroRNA-146a-5p Attenuates Neuropathic Pain via Suppressing TRAF6 Signaling in the Spinal Cord

Ying Lu et al. Brain Behav Immun.


Glia-mediated neuroinflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Our recent study demonstrated that TNF receptor associated factor-6 (TRAF6) is expressed in spinal astrocytes and contributes to the maintenance of spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathic pain. MicroRNA (miR)-146a is a key regulator of the innate immune response and was shown to target TRAF6 and reduce inflammation. In this study, we found that in cultured astrocytes, TNF-α, IL-1β, or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced rapid TRAF6 upregulation and delayed miR-146a-5p upregulation. In addition, miR-146a-5p mimic blocked LPS-induced TRAF6 upregulation, as well as LPS-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and chemokine CCL2 expression in astrocytes. Notably, LPS incubation with astrocytes enhanced the DNA binding activity of AP-1 to the promoters of mir-146a and ccl2. TRAF6 siRNA or JNK inhibitor SP600125 significantly reduced LPS-induced miR-146a-5p increase in astrocytes. In vivo, intrathecal injection of TNF-α or LPS increased spinal TRAF6 expression. Pretreatment with miR-146a-5p mimic alleviated TNF-α- or LPS-induced mechanical allodynia and reduced TRAF6 expression. Finally, SNL induced miR-146a-5p upregulation in the spinal cord at 10 and 21days. Intrathecal injection of miR-146a-5p mimic attenuated SNL-induced mechanical allodynia and decreased spinal TRAF6 expression. Taken together, the results suggest that (1) miR-146a-5p attenuates neuropathic pain partly through inhibition of TRAF6 and its downstream JNK/CCL2 signaling, (2) miR-146a-5p is increased by the activation of TRAF6/JNK pathway. Hence, miR-146a-5p may be a novel treatment for chronic neuropathic pain.

Keywords: Astrocyte; CCL2; JNK; MiR-146a-5p; Neuropathic pain; TRAF6.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 22 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types