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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 May 2019 - 10 May 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Jul 15

Eur J Pharmacol


TsNTxP, a non-toxic protein from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom, induces antinociceptive effects by suppressing glutamate release in mice.


Rigo F K, Bochi G V, Pereira A L, Adamante G, Ferro P R, De Prá S D-T, Milioli A M, Damiani A P, da Silveira Prestes G, Dalenogare D P, Chávez-Olórtegui C, Moraes de Andrade V, Machado-de-Ávila R A, Trevisan G
Eur J Pharmacol. 2019 Jul 15; 855:65-74.
PMID: 31059709.


Neuropathic pain is a common type of chronic pain caused by trauma or chemotherapy. However, this type of pain is undertreated. TsNTxP is a non-toxic protein isolated from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus, and it is structurally similar to neurotoxins that interact with voltage-gated sodium channels. However, the antinociceptive properties of this protein have not been characterized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antinociceptive effects of TsNTxP in acute and neuropathic pain models. Male and female Swiss mice (25-30 g) were exposed to different models of acute pain (tail-flick test and nociception caused by capsaicin intraplantar injection) or neuropathic pain (chronic pain syndrome induced by paclitaxel or chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve). Hypersensitivity to mechanical or cold stimuli were evaluated in the models of neuropathic pain. The ability of TsNTxP to alter the release of glutamate in mouse spinal cord synaptosomes was also evaluated. The results showed that TsNTxP exerted antinociceptive effects in the tail-flick test to a thermal stimulus and in the intraplantar capsaicin administration model. Furthermore, TsNTxP was non-toxic and exerted antiallodynic effects in neuropathic pain models induced by chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve and administration of paclitaxel. TsNTxP reduced glutamate release from mouse spinal cord synaptosomes following stimulation with potassium chloride (KCl) or capsaicin. Thus, this T. serrulatus protein may be a promising non-toxic drug for the treatment of neuropathic pain.