Friday, September 23rd
Assessment, Diagnosis & Measurement of Pain
Non-Coding RNAs as Hub Regulators of Neuropathic Pain and Neuroregeneration
Nerve injuries activate inherent transcriptional programs in primary afferent neurons residing in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), which are critical for the initiation of neuropathic pain. Members of the non-coding RNA (ncRNA) family, specifically the short microRNAs (miRNA) act as master switches orchestrating biological processes in both the immune as well as nervous system. Since miRNAs are emerging as important regulators of the reaction to injury it is important to understand the precise contribution and role of specific miRNAs associated with the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain vs. regenerative processes. As miRNAs promise unique and specific advantages for therapeutic interventions, the identification of specific miRNAs promoting or preventing neuropathic processes and the unraveling of their target genes and mechanisms of action are of critical importance and offer novel therapeutic perspectives for pain resulting from nerve injuries. Benefit for the patient may also emerge from the presence of disease related ncRNAs in blood cells and extracellular vesicles which may be exploited as liquid biopsies for diagnostic purposes. Studies exploring the potential of specific ncRNAs signatures as biomarkers indicative of neuropathic pain disorders are discussed.