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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Jan 2019 - 25 Jan 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development


Front Mol Neurosci


Emerging Trends in Pain Modulation by Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors.


Pereira V, Goudet C
Front Mol Neurosci. 2018; 11:464.
PMID: 30662395.


Pain is an essential protective mechanism meant to prevent tissue damages in organisms. On the other hand, chronic or persistent pain caused, for example, by inflammation or nerve injury is long lasting and responsible for long-term disability in patients. Therefore, chronic pain and its management represents a major public health problem. Hence, it is critical to better understand chronic pain molecular mechanisms to develop innovative and efficient drugs. Over the past decades, accumulating evidence has demonstrated a pivotal role of glutamate in pain sensation and transmission, supporting glutamate receptors as promising potential targets for pain relieving drug development. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Once released into the synapse, glutamate acts through ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which are ligand-gated ion channels triggering fast excitatory neurotransmission, and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which are G protein-coupled receptors modulating synaptic transmission. Eight mGluRs subtypes have been identified and are divided into three classes based on their sequence similarities and their pharmacological and biochemical properties. Of note, all mGluR subtypes (except mGlu6 receptor) are expressed within the nociceptive pathways where they modulate pain transmission. This review will address the role of mGluRs in acute and persistent pain processing and emerging pharmacotherapies for pain management.