Purinergic signaling contributes to inflammatory and immune responses. The activation of the P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7) in satellite glial cells (SGCs) may be an essential component in the promotion of inflammation and neuropathic pain. Long non‑coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in multiple physiological and pathological processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a small interfering RNA for the lncRNA BC168687 on SGC P2X7 expression in a high glucose and high free fatty acids (HGHF) environment. It was demonstrated that BC168687 small interfering (si)RNA downregulated the co‑expression of the P2X7 and glial fibrillary acidic protein and P2X7 mRNA expression. Additionally, HGHF may activate the mitogen‑activated protein kinase signaling pathway by increasing the release of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in SGCs. Taken together, these results indicate that silencing BC168687 expression may downregulate the increased expression of P2X7 receptors in SGCs induced by a HGHF environment.
Keywords: long non-coding RNA; BC168687; high glucose and high free fatty acids; P2X purinoceptor 7; glial fibrillary acidic protein.