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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Apr 2022 - 6 May 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 May 02


Dual HDAC/BRD4 Inhibitors Relieves Neuropathic Pain by Attenuating Inflammatory Response in Microglia After Spared Nerve Injury.


Borgonetti V, Meacci E, Pierucci F, Romanelli M N, Galeotti N
Neurotherapeutics. 2022 May 02.
PMID: 35501470.


Despite the effort on developing new treatments, therapy for neuropathic pain is still a clinical challenge and combination therapy regimes of two or more drugs are often needed to improve efficacy. Accumulating evidence shows an altered expression and activity of histone acetylation enzymes in chronic pain conditions and restoration of these aberrant epigenetic modifications promotes pain-relieving activity. Recent studies showed a synergistic activity in neuropathic pain models by combination of histone deacetylases (HDACs) and bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) inhibitors. On these premises, the present study investigated the pharmacological profile of new dual HDAC/BRD4 inhibitors, named SUM52 and SUM35, in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model in mice as innovative strategy to simultaneously inhibit HDACs and BETs. Intranasal administration of SUM52 and SUM35 attenuated thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity in the absence of locomotor side effects. Both dual inhibitors showed a preferential interaction with BRD4-BD2 domain, and SUM52 resulted the most active compound. SUM52 reduced microglia-mediated spinal neuroinflammation in spinal cord sections of SNI mice as showed by reduction of IBA1 immunostaining, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, p65 nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and p38 MAPK over-phosphorylation. A robust decrease of the spinal proinflammatory cytokines content (IL-6, IL-1ß) was also observed after SUM52 treatment. Present results, showing the pain-relieving activity of HDAC/BRD4 dual inhibitors, indicate that the simultaneous modulation of BET and HDAC activity by a single molecule acting as multi-target agent might represent a promise for neuropathic pain relief.