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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2019 - 5 Jul 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


Front Pharmacol


Sigma-1 Receptor Inhibition Reduces Neuropathic Pain Induced by Partial Sciatic Nerve Transection in Mice by Opioid-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms.


Bravo-Caparrós I, Perazzoli G, Yeste S, Cikes D, Baeyens J M, Cobos E J, Nieto F R
Front Pharmacol. 2019; 10:613.
PMID: 31263413.


Sigma-1 (σ) receptor antagonists are promising tools for neuropathic pain treatment, but it is unknown whether σ receptor inhibition ameliorates the neuropathic signs induced by nerve transection, in which the pathophysiological mechanisms and response to drug treatment differ from other neuropathic pain models. In addition, σ antagonism ameliorates inflammatory pain through modulation of the endogenous opioid system, but it is unknown whether this occurs during neuropathic pain. We investigated the effect of σ inhibition on the painful hypersensitivity associated with the spared nerve injury (SNI) model in mice. Wild-type (WT) mice developed prominent cold (acetone test), mechanical (von Frey test), and heat hypersensitivity (Hargreaves test) after SNI. σ receptor knockout (ခσ-KO) mice did not develop cold allodynia and showed significantly less mechanical allodynia, although they developed heat hyperalgesia after SNI. The systemic acute administration of the selective σ receptor antagonist S1RA attenuated all three types of SNI-induced hypersensitivity in WT mice. These ameliorative effects of S1RA were reversed by the administration of the σ agonist PRE-084, and were absent in σ-KO mice, indicating the selectivity of S1RA-induced effects. The opioid antagonist naloxone and its peripherally restricted analog naloxone methiodide prevented S1RA-induced effects in mechanical and heat hypersensitivity, but not in cold allodynia, indicating that opioid-dependent and -independent mechanisms are involved in the effects of this σ antagonist. The repeated administration of S1RA twice a day during 10 days reduced SNI-induced cold, mechanical, and heat hypersensitivity without inducing analgesic tolerance during treatment. These effects were observed up to 12 h after the last administration, when S1RA was undetectable in plasma or brain, indicating long-lasting pharmacodynamic effects. These data suggest that σ antagonism may have therapeutic value for the treatment of neuropathic pain induced by the transection of peripheral nerves.