Neuropathic pain is a complicated clinical syndrome caused by heterogeneous etiology. Despite the fact that the underlying mechanisms remain elusive, it is well accepted that neuroinflammation plays a critical role in the development of neuropathic pain. Fascin-1, an actin-bundling protein, has been proved to be involved in the processing of diverse biological events including cellular development, immunity, and tumor invasion etc. Recent studies have shown that Fascin-1 participates in antigen presentation and the regulation of pro-inflammatory agents. However, whether Fascin-1 is involved in neuropathic pain has not been reported. In the present study we examined the potential role of Fascin-1 by using a rodent model of chronic constriction injury (CCI). Our results showed that Fascin-1 increased rapidly in dorsal root ganglions (DRG) and spinal cord (SC) after CCI. The increased Fascin-1 widely expressed in DRG, however, it localized predominantly in microglia, seldom in neuron, and hardly in astrocyte in the SC. Intrathecal injection of Fascin-1 siRNA not only suppressed the activation of microglia and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, but also attenuated the mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by CCI.
Keywords: Fascin-1; IL-6; Inflammation; Microglia; Neuropathic pain; TNF-α.