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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Feb 2020 - 28 Feb 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Feb 20

Sci Rep



A Nonpeptide Oxytocin Receptor Agonist for a Durable Relief of Inflammatory Pain.


Hilfiger L, Zhao Q, Kerspern D, Inquimbert P, Andry V, Goumon Y, Darbon P, Hibert M, Charlet A
Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 20; 10(1):3017.
PMID: 32080303.


Oxytocin possesses several physiological and social functions, among which an important analgesic effect. For this purpose, oxytocin binds mainly to its unique receptor, both in the central nervous system and in the peripheral nociceptive terminal axon in the skin. However, despite its interesting analgesic properties and its current use in clinics to facilitate labor, oxytocin is not used in pain treatment. Indeed, it is rapidly metabolized, with a half-life in the blood circulation estimated at five minutes and in cerebrospinal fluid around twenty minutes in humans and rats. Moreover, oxytocin itself suffers from several additional drawbacks: a lack of specificity, an extremely poor oral absorption and distribution, and finally, a lack of patentability. Recently, a first non-peptide full agonist of oxytocin receptor (LIT-001) of low molecular weight has been synthesized with reported beneficial effect for social interactions after peripheral administration. In the present study, we report that a single intraperitoneal administration of LIT-001 in a rat model induces a long-lasting reduction in inflammatory pain-induced hyperalgesia symptoms, paving the way to an original drug development strategy for pain treatment.