The histone demethylase JMJD2A regulates the expression of BDNF and mediates neuropathic pain in mice

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Abstract

JMJD2A is a JmjC histone demethylase that catalyzes the demethylation of di- and trimethylated Lys9 and Lys36 in histone H3 (H3K9me2/3 and H3K36me2/3). The role of spinal JMJD2A-dependent histone demethylation in nociception hypersensitivity development remains elusive. Here we reported that the JMJD2A responded to neuropathic pain and participated in the maintenance of neuropathic pain. The mRNA and protein levels of Jmjd2a were significantly increased in the neurons of mouse undergoing neuropathic pain induced by sciatic nerve chronic constrictive injury (CCI) or unilateral spared nerve injury (SNI). Jmjd2a responded to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and promoted the expression of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), which is a protein critically involved in neuropathic pain. JMJD2A bound to the promoter of Bdnf and demethylated H3K9me3 and H3K36me3 at Bdnf promoter to promote the expression of Bdnf. Finally, we showed that JMJD2A promoted the expression of Bdnf during neuropathic pain and neuron-specific knockout of Jmjd2a blocked the hypersensitivity of mice undergoing chronic neuropathic pain induced by CCI and SNI. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that up-regulation of JMJD2A promotes neuropathic pain and it may serve as a promising target for treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.

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