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Papers of the Week

2019 Sep

Pharmacol Res


Pharmacological inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome as a potential target for cancer-induced bone pain.


Chen S-P, Zhou Y-Q, Wang X-M, Sun J, Cao F, HaiSam S, Ye D-W, Tian Y-K
Pharmacol Res. 2019 Sep; 147:104339.
PMID: 31276771.


Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) remains a major challenge in patients suffering from bone metastases because of the complex mechanisms and unsatisfactory treatments. Emerging evidence have shown that activation of inflammasomes contribute to the development of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. However, the role of spinal inflammasomes in CIBP remains unclear. In the present study, we explored the specific cellular mechanisms of NLRP3 inflammasome in the process of CIBP in rats. MCC950 is a small molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome that exhibits remarkable activity in inflammatory diseases. Our behavioral results confirmed that both single and persistent treatment with MCC950 markedly attenuated CIBP-related mechanical allodynia. The expression of NLRP3 inflammasome, including NLRP3, ASC, Caspase-1, were significantly increased in a time-dependent manner. Furthermore, spinal IL-1β, cleaved by cysteine-aspartic acid protease, was upregulated in this study. Chronic administration with MCC950 restored the protein expression of NLRP3 inflammasome and significantly suppressed the upregulation of IL-1β. Spinal NLRP3 inflammasome might be a novel therapeutic target for treatment of CIBP.