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25 June 2014 : Review article  

Epigenetic modification of DRG neuronal gene expression subsequent to nerve injury: Etiological contribution to complex regional pain syndromes (Part I)

Fuzhou WangABCDEFG, George B. StefanoABCDEF, Richard M. KreamABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890702

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1067-1077

Abstract

DRG is of importance in relaying painful stimulation to the higher pain centers and therefore could be a crucial target for early intervention aimed at suppressing primary afferent stimulation. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a common pain condition with an unknown etiology. Recently added new information enriches our understanding of CRPS pathophysiology. Researches on genetics, biogenic amines, neurotransmitters, and mechanisms of pain modulation, central sensitization, and autonomic functions in CRPS revealed various abnormalities indicating that multiple factors and mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis of CRPS. Epigenetics refers to mitotically and meiotically heritable changes in gene expression that do not affect the DNA sequence. As epigenetic modifications potentially play an important role in inflammatory cytokine metabolism, neurotransmitter responsiveness, and analgesic sensitivity, they are likely key factors in the development of chronic pain. In this dyad review series, we systematically examine the nerve injury-related changes in the neurological system and their contribution to CRPS. In this part, we first reviewed and summarized the role of neural sensitization in DRG neurons in performing function in the context of pain processing. Particular emphasis is placed on the cellular and molecular changes after nerve injury as well as different models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. These were considered as the potential molecular bases that underlie nerve injury-associated pathogenesis of CRPS.

Keywords: Epigenesis, Genetic, Complex Regional Pain Syndromes - genetics, Ganglia, Spinal - pathology, Inflammation Mediators - metabolism, Nerve Tissue - injuries, Neurons - pathology

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750