Bioinformatics Genes and Pathway Analysis for Chronic Neuropathic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:6423021. doi: 10.1155/2017/6423021. Epub 2017 Oct 15.


It is well known spinal cord injury (SCI) can cause chronic neuropathic pain (NP); however its underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. This study aimed to disclose differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and activated signaling pathways in association with SCI induced chronic NP, in order to identify its diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Microarray dataset GSE5296 has been downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Significant analysis of microarray (SAM), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis, and pathway network analysis have been used to compare changes of DEGs and signaling pathways between the SCI and sham-injury group. As a result, DEGs analysis showed there were 592 DEGs with significantly altered expression; among them Ccl3 expression showed the highest upregulation which implicated its association with SCI induced chronic NP. Moreover, KEGG analysis found 209 pathways changed significantly; among them the most significantly activated one is MAPK signaling pathway, which is in line with KEGG analysis results. Our results show Ccl3 is highly associated with SCI induced chronic NP; as the exosomes with Ccl3 can be easily and efficiently detected in peripheral blood, Ccl3 may serve as a potential prognostic target for the diagnosis and treatment of SCI induced chronic NP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain / complications
  • Chronic Pain / genetics*
  • Chronic Pain / pathology
  • Computational Biology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Neuralgia / complications
  • Neuralgia / genetics*
  • Neuralgia / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / genetics*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology