TET1-mediated epigenetic regulation of tumor necrosis factor- in trigeminal ganglia contributes to chronic temporomandibular joint pain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chronic temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain profoundly affects patients' quality of life. Trigeminal tumor necrosis factor- (TNF) plays a pivotal role in mediating TMJ pain in mice, yet the underlying epigenetic mechanisms remain enigmatic. To unravel these epigenetic intricacies, we employed a multifaceted approach. Hydroxymethylated DNA immunoprecipitation (hMeDIP) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by qPCR were employed to investigate the demethylation of TNF gene (Tnfa) and its regulation by ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase 1 (TET1) in a chronic TMJ pain mouse model. The global levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmc) and percentage of 5hmc at the Tnfa promoter region were measured in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) and spinal trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Sp5C) following complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or saline treatment. TET1 knockdown and pain behavioral testing were conducted to ascertain the role of TET1-mediated epigenetic regulation of TNF in the pathogenesis of chronic TMJ pain. Our finding revealed an increase in 5hmc at the Tnfa promoter region in both TG and Sp5C of CFA-treated mice. TET1 was upregulated in the mouse TG, and the ChIP result showed TET1 direct binding to the Tnfa promoter, with higher efficiency in the CFA-treated group. Immunofluorescence revealed the predominant expression of TET1 in trigeminal neurons. TET1 knockdown in the TG significantly reversed CFA-induced TNF upregulation and alleviated chronic TMJ pain. In conclusion, our study implicates TET1 as a vital epigenetic regulator contributing to chronic inflammatory TMJ pain via trigeminal TNF signaling. Targeting TET1 holds promise for epigenetic interventions in TMJ pain management.

published proceedings

  • Life Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Z., Ma, H., Nasir, A., Liu, S., Li, Z., Tao, F., & Bai, Q.

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Zhitao||Ma, Heng||Nasir, Abdul||Liu, Sufang||Li, Zhisong||Tao, Feng||Bai, Qian

publication date

  • January 2024