Stress gene influences chronic pain after car crash

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Credit: Linnstaedt et al., JNeurosci (2018)

A study of more than 1,000 motor vehicle accident survivors published in JNeurosci reveals a common variant in a gene involved in the stress response that increases vulnerability to developing chronic pain. Addressing the interaction between this genetic variant and post-traumatic stress may represent a supplemental or alternative to treatment with addictive opioids.

Sarah Linnstaedt and colleagues conducted two prospective studies of European American and African American men and women admitted to the emergency room following a motor vehicle collision. In addition to genotyping these patients, the researchers assessed their distress immediately after the accident as well as their pain and post-traumatic stress symptoms six weeks later. Participants of both ethnicities with a particular variant in the gene FKBP5 reported more severe pain at follow up, which was related to their level of distress. Further analyses uncovered a molecular mechanism by which this variant increases FKBP5 expression and mediates its relationship with post-traumatic chronic pain.

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Article: A functional riboSNitch in the 3'UTR of FKBP5 alters microRNA-320a binding efficiency and mediates vulnerability to chronic posttraumatic pain
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3458-17.2018
Corresponding author: Sarah Linnstaedt (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA), [email protected]

About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

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The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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