Involvement of the opioid system and BDNF in neuroplastic alterations occurring in neuropathic pain conditions

Mercatelli, Daniela (2014) Involvement of the opioid system and BDNF in neuroplastic alterations occurring in neuropathic pain conditions, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze farmacologiche e tossicologiche, dello sviluppo e del movimento umano, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6438.
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Chronic pain affects one in five adults, reducing quality of life and increasing risk of developing co-morbidities such as depression. Neuropathic pain results by lesions to the nervous system that alter its structure and function leading to spontaneous pain and amplified responses to noxious and innocuous stimuli. The Opioid System is probably the most important system involved in control of nociceptive transmission. Dynorphin and nociceptin systems have been suggested key mediators of some neuropathic pain aspects. An important role also for BDNF has been recently suggested since its involvement in the peripheral and central sensitization phenomena is known. We studied neuroplastic alterations occurring in chronic pain in mice subjected to the chronic constriction injury (CCI). We investigated gene expression alterations of both BDNF and Opioid System at spinal level at different intervals of time. A transient upregulation of pBDNF and pDYN was observed in spinal cord, while increasing upregulation of ppN/OFQ was found in the DRGs of injured mice. Development of neuropathic behavioral signs has been observed in ICR/CD-1 and BDNF+/+ mice, subjected to CCI. A different development of these signs was observed in BDNF+/-. We also studied gene expression changes of investigated systems in different brain areas fourteen days after surgery. We found pBDNF, pDYN, pKOP, ppN/OFQ and pNOP gene expression alterations in several areas of CCI mice. In the same brain regions we also determined bioactive nociceptin peptide levels, and elevated N/OFQ levels were observed in the amygdala area. Histone modifications studies have been performed in BDNF and DYN gene promoters of CCI animal spinal cord showing selected alterations in pDYN gene promoter. In addition, a preliminary characterization of the innovative NOP-EGFP mice was performed. Overall, our results could be useful to understand which and how neuropeptidergic systems are involved in neuroplastic mechanism occurring in neuropathic pain.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mercatelli, Daniela
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
neuropathic pain, dynorphin, nociceptin, BDNF, sciatic nerve, mouse, spinal cord, epigenetics, gene expression, NOP-EGFP, chronic constriction injury
Data di discussione
7 Aprile 2014

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