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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 08

Antioxidants (Basel)



Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF) Alleviated Post-Operative (PO) Pain through the -Methyl-d-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptors.


Casili G, Lanza M, Filippone A, Cucinotta L, Paterniti I, Repici A, Capra A P, Cuzzocrea S, Esposito E, Campolo M
Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Sep 08; 11(9).
PMID: 36139848.


The management of post-operative (PO) pain has generally been shown to be inadequate; therefore, acquiring a novel understanding of PO pain mechanisms would increase the therapeutic options available. There is accumulating evidence to implicate -methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the induction and maintenance of central sensitization during pain states by reinforcing glutamate sensory transmission. It is known that DMF protects from oxidative glutamate toxicity. Therefore, NMDA receptor antagonists have been implicated in peri-operative pain management. Recent advances demonstrated that dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a non-opioid and orally bioavailable drug, is able to resolve neuroinflammation through mechanisms that drive nociceptive hypersensitivity. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the role of DMF on pain and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of PO pain. An incision of the hind paw was performed, and DMF at two different doses (30 and 100 mg/kg) was administered by oral gavage for five consecutive days. Mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia and locomotor dysfunction were evaluated daily for five days after surgery. Mice were sacrificed at day 7 following PO pain induction, and hind paw and lumbar spinal cord samples were collected for histological and molecular studies. DMF administration significantly reduced hyperalgesia and allodynia, alleviating motor disfunction. Treatment with DMF significantly reduced histological damage, counteracted mast cell activation and reduced the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of the activated B cell (NF-κB) inflammatory pathway, in addition to downregulating tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), Interleukin-1β (Il-1β) and Il-4 expression. Interestingly, DMF treatment lowered the activation of NMDA receptor subtypes (NR2B and NR1) and the NMDA-receptor-interacting PDZ proteins, including PSD93 and PSD95. Furthermore, DMF interfered with calcium ion release, modulating nociception. Thus, DMF administration modulated PO pain, managing NMDA signaling pathways. The results suggest that DMF positively modulated persistent nociception related to PO pain, through predominantly NMDA-receptor-operated calcium channels.