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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Aug 2022 - 12 Aug 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Aug 08

Brain Res Bull

Effects of treatment with a carbon monoxide donor and an activator of heme oxygenase 1 on the nociceptive, apoptotic and/or oxidative alterations induced by persistent inflammatory pain in the central nervous system of mice.


The activation of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1)/carbon monoxide (CO) inhibits chronic inflammatory pain, but its role in the central nervous system (CNS) is not entirely known. We evaluated whether the treatment with an HO-1 inducer, cobalt protoporphyrin IX (CoPP), or a CO-releasing molecule, tricarbonyldichlororuthenium(II)dimer (CORM-2), modulates the nociceptive, apoptotic and/or oxidative responses provoked by persistent inflammatory pain in the CNS. In C57BL/6 male mice with peripheral inflammation caused by complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), we assessed the effects of CORM-2 and CoPP on the expression of protein kinase B (Akt), the apoptotic protein BAX, and the antioxidant enzymes HO-1 and NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) in the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG), amygdala (AMG), ventral hippocampus (VHPC) and medial septal area (MSA). Our results showed that the increased expression of p-Akt caused by peripheral inflammation in the four analyzed brain areas was reversed by CORM-2 and CoPP therapies. Both treatments also normalized the upregulation of BAX induced by CFA on the VHPC and MSA. Oxidative stress, demonstrated with the decreased expression of HO-1 on the PAG and AMG, was normalized in CORM-2 and CoPP treated animals. CoPP also increased the expression of HO-1 on VHPC, and both treatments up-regulated the NQO1 levels on the PAG of CFA-injected animals. In conclusion, both CORM-2 and CoPP treatments inhibited the nociceptive and apoptotic responses generated by peripheral inflammation and/or potentiated the antioxidant responses in several brain areas revealing the new modulatory effects of these treatments in the CNS of animals with chronic inflammatory pain.