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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Aug 2020 - 21 Aug 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Aug 17


Mechanisms Involved in Superiority of Angiotensin Receptor Blockade over ACE Inhibition in Attenuating Neuropathic Pain Induced in Rats.


Although previous reports described the beneficial role of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) or AT1 receptor blockers (ARBs) in attenuating neuropathic pain (NP), no study has yet explored the exact underlying mechanisms, as well as the superiority of using centrally versus peripherally acting renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) drugs in NP. We investigated the effects of 14 days of treatment with centrally (telmisartan and ramipril) or peripherally (losartan and enalapril) acting ARBs and ACE-Is, respectively, in attenuating peripheral NP induced by sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI) in rats. We also compared these with the effects of pregabalin, the standard treatment for NP. Behavioral changes, inflammatory markers (NFкB, TNF-α, COX-2, PGE2, and bradykinin), oxidative stress markers (NADPH oxidase and catalase), STAT3 activation, levels of phosphorylated P38-MAPK, ACE, AT1 receptor (AT1R), and AT2 receptor (AT2R), as well as histopathological features, were assessed in the brainstem and sciatic nerve. CCI resulted in clear pain-related behavior along with increased levels of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, and STAT3 activity, as well as increased levels of phosphorylated P38-MAPK, ACE, AT1R, and AT2R, along with worsened histopathological findings in both the brainstem and sciatic nerve. ARBs improved both animal behavior and all measured parameters in CCI rats and were more effective than ACE-Is. At the tested doses, centrally acting ARBs or ACE-Is were not superior to the peripherally acting drugs of the same category. These findings suggest that ARBs (centrally or peripherally acting) are an effective treatment modality for NP.