Clinical Research Papers:

Negative regulation of REST on NR2B in spinal cord contributes to the development of bone cancer pain in mice

Dan Wang and Jianbo Yu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:85564-85572. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9447

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Dan Wang1,* and Jianbo Yu1,*

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Tianjin Nankai Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jianbo Yu, email:

Keywords: bone neoplasms, pain, REST, NR2B protein, mice

Received: March 14, 2016 Accepted: July 15, 2016 Published: July 30, 2016


In this study, C3H/HeNCrlVr mice are implanted with sarcoma NCTC 2472 cells into the intramedullary space of the femur to induce ongoing bone cancer-related pain behaviors. During the progress of the bone cancer pain, the down-regulation in spinal REST (Neuron-restrictive silencer factor, NRSF/REST) with concomitant up-regulation in spinal NR2B (2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, NR2B) protein expression are observed at days 5, 7, 10 and 14 post-inoculation. Immunofluorescence assay shows that almost all of REST and NR2B-positive signals encompass NeuN (neuron-specific nuclear protein, a neuronal marker)-positive signals in spinal cord of sham and tumor-bearing mice. Different from previous researches involved in the main distribution of REST in neural progenitors, the expression of REST in mature neurons in spinal cord of adult mice is observed. Intrathecal administration of AS-ODN of REST at days 0, 2, 4 and 6 post-inoculation further enhances expression of spinal NR2B at day 7 post-inoculation, which suggests the reduced suppression of spinal REST on NR2B during the development of bone cancer pain. In summary, our study provides the evidence that the negative regulation of REST on NR2B in spinal cord takes part in the exacerbation of bone cancer pain.

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