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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Apr 2022 - 15 Apr 2022

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2022 Apr 12


Editor's Pick

Dual enkephalinase inhibitor PL37 as a potential novel treatment of migraine: evidence from a rat model.


Descheemaeker A, Poras H, Wurm M, Luccarini P, Ouimet T, Dallel R
Brain. 2022 Apr 12.
PMID: 35411377.


The dual enkephalinase inhibitor PL37, a small molecule that protects enkephalins from their rapid degradation, has demonstrated analgesic properties in animal pain models and in early human clinical trials. This study tested the antimigraine potential of PL37 on cutaneous mechanical hypersensitivity affecting cephalic regions in migraineurs. Using behavioral testing and c-Fos immunoreactivity in male rats, we investigated the effects of single (oral or intravenous) and repeated oral administration of PL37 on changes in cutaneous mechanical sensitivity and sensitization of the trigeminocervical complex induced by repeated administration of the nitric oxide donor, isosorbide dinitrate. In naive rats, single or repeated administration of PL37 or vehicle had no effect on cephalic mechanical sensitivity. However, single oral PL37 treatment effectively inhibited isosorbide dinitrate-induced acute cephalic mechanical hypersensitivity. Single intravenous but not oral PL37 administration inhibited chronic cephalic mechanical hypersensitivity. Daily oral administration of PL37 prevented cephalic mechanical hypersensitivity and decreased touch-induced c-Fos expression in trigeminocervical complex following repeated isosorbide dinitrate administration. These data reveal the therapeutic potential of the dual enkephalinase inhibitor PL37 as an acute and prophylactic treatment for migraine. Protecting enkephalins from their degrading enzymes therefore appears as an innovative approach to treat migraine.