Temporal dysregulation of circulating micrornas after acute experimental pain

Rocco Giordano, Hiroai Okutani, M.C. Gerra, Silvia Lo Vecchio, Allan Stensballe (Member of study group), Kristian Kjær Petersen, Lars Arendt-Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


Main Category: T (translational), B (basic research)

Topic: Acute pain

Background and aims: Within the group of non-codingRNAs are microRNAs that can modulate several biological pathways, including pain. In a previous model of acute pain, dysregulation of non-codingRNAs expression was reported in the circulation of healthy subjects after acute pain induction. This project aimed to evaluate temporal expression of circulating microRNA in plasma of healthy subjects after hypertonic saline injection.

Methods: Twenty participants were randomly allocated in two groups, and received either hypertonic (pain) or isotonic (control) saline injection in the first dorsal interosseous muscle of their dominant hand. Pain intensity for both groups was recorded on a tablet for 20 minutes after injection. Blood was sampled at baseline, 30 minutes, 3 hours, 24 hours after injection. MicroRNA extracts were used for RNA sequencing with the Illumina NextSeq. Changes in microRNA transcript counts were considered statistically significant with the dual criteria of the observed change in expression >2folds and False Discovery Rate p<0.05.

Results: Significantly higher pain intensities were found for the hypertonic compared to the isotonic saline injections (p<0.001). After 30min from the injection 4 microRNAs were dysregulated significantly in the pain group compared to controls (p<0,0001). The number of significantly altered miRNAs raised to 24 in the pain group after 3h from injection and to 42 after 24h from baseline (p<0,0001).

Conclusions: Several microRNAs were consistently detected in the circulation in healthy subjects after painful muscle stimulation. The study revealed for the first time the temporal expression of circulating microRNAs in an acute pain model, highlighting these microRNAs to be involved in pain pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventEFIC2022 European Pain Federation - dublin, Ireland
Duration: 27 Apr 202230 Apr 2022


ConferenceEFIC2022 European Pain Federation


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