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Papers of the Week

2022 May 24

Int J Mol Sci



Analgesic Effect of Tranilast in an Animal Model of Neuropathic Pain and Its Role in the Regulation of Tetrahydrobiopterin Synthesis.


Raman S, Waskitho A, Raju R, Iwasa T, Ikutame D, Okura K, Oshima M, Matsuka Y
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 24; 23(11).
PMID: 35682555.


Trigeminal neuralgia is unilateral, lancinating, episodic pain that can be provoked by routine activities. Anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine, are the drugs of choice; however, these possess side-effects. Microvascular decompression is the most effective surgical technique with a higher success rate, although occasionally causes adverse effects. The potential treatment for this type of pain remains unmet. Increased tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) levels have been reported in association with axonal injury. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of tranilast on relieving neuropathic pain in animal models and analyze the changes in BH4 synthesis. Neuropathic pain was induced via infraorbital nerve constriction. Tranilast, carbamazepine, or saline was injected intraperitoneally to assess the rat's post-intervention pain response. In the von Frey's test, the tranilast and carbamazepine groups showed significant changes in the head withdrawal threshold in the ipsilateral whisker pad area. The motor coordination test showed no changes in the tranilast group, whereas the carbamazepine group showed decreased performance, indicating impaired motor coordination. Trigeminal ganglion tissues were used for the PCR array analysis of genes that regulate the BH4 pathway. Downregulation of the sepiapterin reductase () and aldoketo reductase () genes after tranilast injection was observed compared to the pain model. These findings suggest that tranilast effectively treats neuropathic pain.