The function of microRNA (miRNA) in neuropathic pain (NP) has received widespread attention. The current research sought to address the contribution of miR‑488‑3p in NP and its downstream mechanisms. The NP rat model was constructed by chronic constriction injury (CCI) surgery in rats. Regulation of miR‑488‑3p or Rho‑associated coiled‑coil‑containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) in rats by intrathecal injection of lentivirus or plasmid. Real‑time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) to examine the levels of miR‑488‑3p and ROCK1 in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to monitor the secretion of pro‑inflammatory and anti‑inflammatory factors. Paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and paw withdrawal latency (PWL) for the evaluation of mechanosensitive and thermal nociceptive hypersensitivity of NP behaviors. Validation of molecular mechanism between miR‑488‑3p and ROCK1 using RNA immunoprecipitation assay and dual‑luciferase reporter (DLR) assay. miR‑488‑3p was vigorously less expressed in the DRGs of CCI rats, while ROCK1 was upregulated. Elevated miR‑488‑3p alleviated the decrease of PWL and PWT in CCI rats, inhibited the secretion of pro‑inflammatory factors, and enhanced anti‑inflammatory factors levels. Mechanistically, ROCK1 was the target of miR‑488‑3p. Raised ROCK1 partially attenuated the mitigating effect of miR‑488‑3p on NP behavior and the suppression of inflammatory responses in rats. Current research demonstrated that miR‑488‑3p may be a novel therapeutic target for NP.
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