Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 623, 2010, pp 383-395

Direct Application of siRNA for In Vivo Pain Research

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Abstract

Pain is the new burden of the twenty-first century, raising enormous socio-economic costs to developed and underdeveloped countries. Chronic pain is a central nervous system (CNS) pathology, affecting a large proportion of the population. Morphine and its derivatives are still the golden clinical standards for treating pain although they induce severe side effects. To this day, we still have poor understanding of nociceptive pain and its underlying complex mechanisms; furthermore, novelty in clinical analgesics is lacking.

RNA interference technologies are promising both for pain research and treatment. This genetic approach will likely provide new insights into pain mechanisms and eventually offer nonpharmacological therapeutic approaches. In vivo research is thus crucial to reach this goal. Preclinical studies on rodents are necessary to validate small interfering RNA (siRNA) candidates and to target precise physiological pain modulators. Aiming treatment at the CNS is delicate work, and here we will describe how to perform adequate pain research using siRNA, including siRNA preparation and injection, animal behavioral models, and CNS tissue collection.