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Elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms correlating with neuropathic pain in humans is crucial for the prevention and treatment of this treatment-resistant pain state. In the present study, associations between neuropathic pain characteristics and DNA methylation of the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) gene were evaluated in chronic pain patients and preoperative patients. Pain and psychological states were prospectively assessed in patients who suffered chronic pain or were scheduled for thoracic surgery. Neuropathic characteristics were assessed using the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) questionnaire. DNA methylation levels of the CpG islands in the TRPA1 gene were examined using whole blood. Forty-eight adult patients were enrolled in this study. Increases in DNA methylation rates at CpG -51 showed positive correlations with increases in the DN4 score both in preoperative and chronic pain patients. Combined methylation rates at CpG -51 in these patients also significantly increased together with increase in DN4 scores. Neuropathic pain characteristics are likely associated with methylation rates at the promoter region of the TRPA1 gene in human peripheral blood.


Shiho Takenaka, Norihiko Sukenaga, Masaki Ohmuraya, Yuka Matsuki, Lynn Maeda, Yumiko Takao, Munetaka Hirose. Association between neuropathic pain characteristics and DNA methylation of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 in human peripheral blood. Medicine. 2020 Feb;99(8):e19325

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PMID: 32080151

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