• Ma W, Hatzis C and Eisenach JC (2003). Intrathecal injection of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) antisense oligonucleotide attenuates tactile allodynia caused by partial sciatic nerve ligation. Brain Res 988:97-104. Summary: The transcription factor cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) is important in regulating immediate-early genes and some late-effector genes involved in neuroplasticity in response to peripheral injury and stressful insults. Partial nerve injury elicited neuropathic pain is accompanied by increased phosphorylation of CREB in the ipsilateral spinal cord dorsal horn (Ma and Quirion, Pain 93 (2001) 295; Miletic et al., Pain 99 (2002) 493). The aim of this study is to determine whether increased phosphorylation of CREB in the dorsal horn contributes to the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Three weeks following partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL), daily intrathecal injection of antisense CREB oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN, 20 microg/day) for 5 days significantly attenuated tactile allodynia. The attenuation lasted for more than 4 days. Total CREB and phosphorylated CREB in both ipsilateral and contralateral dorsal horn neurons were dramatically reduced in antisense ODN injected PSNL rats 1 week after injection. The extent of reduction of total CREB and phosphorylated CREB containing cells in the dorsal horn ipsilateral to injury was greater than in the contralateral dorsal horn. These data suggest that phosphorylation of CREB is an important contributing event in the central plasticity of nerve injury and in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Department of Anesthesiology, and Center for the Study of Pharmacological Plasticity in the Presence of Pain, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 27157, Winston-Salem, NC, USA