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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Nov 2020 - 27 Nov 2020

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Nov 20

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol

An Investigation into Proteomic Constituents of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Patients with Chronic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain Medicated with Opioids- a Pilot Study.


Royds J, Cassidy H, Conroy MJ, Dunne MR, Matallanas D, Lysaght J, McCrory C
J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2020 Nov 20.
PMID: 33219474.


The pharmacodynamics of opioids for chronic peripheral neuropathic pain are complex and likely extend beyond classical opioid receptor theory. Preclinical evidence of opioid modulation of central immune signalling has not been identified in vivo in humans. Examining the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients medicated with opioids is required to identify potential pharmacodynamic mechanisms. We compared CSF samples of chronic peripheral neuropathic pain patients receiving opioids (n = 7) versus chronic peripheral neuropathic pain patients not taking opioids (control group, n = 13). Baseline pain scores with demographics were recorded. Proteome analysis was performed using mass spectrometry and secreted neuropeptides were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Based on Gene Ontology analysis, proteins involved in the positive regulation of nervous system development and myeloid leukocyte activation were increased in patients taking opioids versus the control group. The largest decrease in protein expression in patients taking opioids were related to neutrophil mediated immunity. In addition, notably higher expression levels of neural proteins (85%) and receptors (80%) were detected in the opioid group compared to the control group. This study suggests modulation of CNS homeostasis, possibly attributable to opioids, thus highlighting potential mechanisms for the pharmacodynamics of opioids. We also provide new insights into the immunomodulatory functions of opioids in vivo.