Background: Neuropathic pain is an incurable disease which is defined as a chronic pain caused by a disease or lesion of the nervous systems. Current treatments can provide a long-lasting pain relief only in a very limited number of patients with neuropathic pain. MicroRNA can regulate multiple genes and pathways involved in human diseases. This review focuses on: a) Molecular mechanisms of microRNA biogenesis. b) Targeting, modifications, and delivery of microRNAs. c) Aberrant expression of microRNAs and their potential therapeutic targets in neuropathic pain. d) Potential challenges of microRNA therapy in clinical practice, such as off-target effects, toxicity, delivery hurdles, and target prediction.
Results: This review introduces: 1. Canonical/non-canonical pathway of microRNA biogenesis. 2. Viral/non-viral vectors transporting microRNAs into target cells. 3. MicroRNA mimics/inhibitors targeting strategies. 4. Aberrantly expressed microRNAs in different animal neuropathic pain models and their links to underlying mechanisms such as inflammation and ion channel expression. 5. Potential challenges of microRNAs therapy such as off-target effect, pseudogenes, liver toxicity, delivery hurdles and target prediction.
Conclusion: Although using microRNAs to target neuropathic pain seem promising, their off-target/toxic effects and delivery hurdles still need to be surmounted.
Keywords: Delivery, mechanism, microRNA, neuropathic pain, side-effect, targeting.