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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Dec 2022 - 16 Dec 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Dec 09


Selective androgen receptor modulator microparticle formulation reverses muscle hyperalgesia in a mouse model of widespread muscle pain.


Lesnak JB, Nakhla DS, Plumb AN, McMillan A, Saha S, Gupta N, Xu Y, Phruttiwanichakun P, Rasmussen L, Meyerholz DK, Salem AK, Sluka KA
Pain. 2022 Dec 09.
PMID: 36508167.


Chronic pain is a significant health problem associated with disability and reduced quality of life. Current management of chronic pain is inadequate with only modest effects of pharmacological interventions. Thus, there is a need for the generation of analgesics for treating chronic pain. While preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate the analgesic effects of testosterone, clinical use of testosterone is limited by adverse androgenic effects. Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) activate androgen receptors and overcome treatment limitations by minimizing androgenic side effects. Thus, we tested if daily soluble SARMs or a SARM-loaded microparticle formulation alleviated muscle hyperalgesia in a mouse-model of widespread pain (male and female C57BL/6J mice). We tested if the analgesic effects of the SARM-loaded microparticle formulation was mediated through androgen receptors by blocking androgen receptors with flutamide pellets. In vitro and in vivo release kinetics were determined for SARM-loaded microparticles. Safety and toxicity of SARM treatment was determined using serum cardiac and liver toxicity panels, heart histology, and conditioned place preference testing. Subcutaneous daily SARM administration, and 2 injections, I week apart, of SARM-loaded microparticles alleviated muscle hyperalgesia in both sexes and was prevented with flutamide treatment. Sustained release of SARM, from the microparticle formulation, was observed both in vitro and in vivo for 4 weeks. SARM treatment produced no cardiac or liver toxicity and did not produce rewarding behaviors. These studies demonstrate SARM-loaded microparticles alleviate muscle pain, release drug for a sustained period, are safe, and may serve as a potential therapeutic for chronic muscle pain.