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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Jan 2019 - 18 Jan 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Feb

Behav Pharmacol



Anti-NGF treatment can reduce chronic neuropathic pain by changing peripheral mediators and brain activity in rats.


Da Silva JT, Evangelista BG, Venega RAG, Seminowicz DA, Chacur M
Behav Pharmacol. 2019 Feb; 30(1):79-88.
PMID: 30633724.


Neuropathic pain is driven by abnormal peripheral and central processing, and treatments are insufficiently effective. Antibodies against nerve growth factor (anti-NGF) have been investigated as a potent analgesic treatment for numerous conditions. However, the peripheral and brain effects of anti-NGF in neuropathic pain remain unknown. We examined the effectiveness of anti-NGF in reducing chronic pain by local administration in a rat model of sciatic constriction injury (CCI). NGF and substance P in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord were evaluated. Neuronal activation was measured using c-Fos in the anterior cingulate cortex and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. At 14 days after CCI, anti-NGF promoted a significant dose-dependent improvement in mechanical threshold, thermal withdrawal latency, and cold sensitivity, lasting for 5 h. NGF upregulation in the DRG and spinal cord after CCI was decreased by anti-NGF, while substance P was increased only in the DRG, and the treatment reduced it. Anti-NGF induced a significant reduction of neuronal activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, but not in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. This study provides the first evidence of the anti-NGF effects on brain activity. Thus, our findings suggest that anti-NGF improves chronic neuropathic pain, acting directly on peripheral sensitization and indirectly on central sensitization.