Proteomics study of neuropathic and nonneuropathic dorsal root ganglia: Altered protein regulation following segmental spinal nerve ligation injury

Naoka Komori, Nobuaki Takemori, Kee Kim Hee, Anil Singh, Seon Hee Hwang, Robert D. Foreman, Kyungsoon Chung, Mo Chung Jin, Hiroyuki Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Peripheral nerve injury is often followed by the development of severe neuropathic pain. Nerve degeneration accompanied by inflammatory mediators is thought to play a role in generation of neuropathic pain. Neuronal cell death follows axonal degeneration, devastating a vast number of molecules in injured neurons and the neighboring cells. Because we have little understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal cell death triggered by nerve injury, we conducted a proteomics study of rat 4th and 5th lumbar (L4 and L5) dorsal root ganglion (DRG) after L5 spinal nerve ligation. DRG proteins were displayed on two-dimensional gels and analyzed through quantitative densitometry, statistical validation of the quantitative data, and peptide mass fingerprinting for protein identification. Among ≈1,300 protein spots detected on each gel, we discovered 67 proteins that were tightly regulated by nerve ligation. We find that the injury to primary sensory neurons turned on multiple cellular mechanisms critical for the structural and functional integrity of neurons and for the defense against oxidative damage. Our data indicate that the regulation of metabolic enzymes was carefully orchestrated to meet the altered energy requirement of the DRG cells. Our data also demonstrate that ligation of the L5 spinal nerve led to the upregulation in the L4 DRG of the proteins that are highly expressed in embryonic sensory neurons. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain, we need to comprehend such dynamic aspect of protein modulations that follow nerve injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-230
Number of pages16
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 24 2007



  • Circulatory proteins
  • Dorsal root ganglion protein expression profiles
  • Isozyme switching
  • Myogenic proteins
  • Peripheral neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics

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