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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Dec 2022 - 23 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 15

Pharmacol Res

Photopharmacological manipulation of amygdala metabotropic glutamate receptor mGlu4 alleviates neuropathic pain.


Pereira V, Arias J A, Llebaria A, Goudet C
Pharmacol Res. 2022 Dec 15:106602.
PMID: 36529205.


Neuropathic pain is a common health problem resulting in exacerbated response to noxious and non noxious stimuli, as well as impaired emotional and cognitive responses. Unfortunately, neuropathic pain is also one of the most difficult pain syndromes to manage, highlighting the importance of better understanding the brain regions and neuromodulatory mechanisms involved in its regulation. Among the many interconnected brain areas which process pain, the amygdala is known to play an important role in the integration of sensory and emotional pain signals. Here we questioned the ability of a recently identified neuromodulatory mechanism associated with the metabotropic glutamate receptors mGlu in the amygdala to modulate neuropathic pain. In a murine model of peripheral mononeuropathy, we demonstrate that pharmacological activation of amygdala mGlu efficiently alleviates sensory and depressive-like symptoms in both male and female mice. Moreover, we reveal a differential modulation of these symptoms. Activating mGlu in the contralateral amygdala relative to the side of the mononeuropathy, is necessary and sufficient to relieve both sensory and depressive-like symptoms, while ipsilateral activation solely reduces depressive-like symptoms. Furthermore, using photopharmacology, a recent strategy allowing precise photocontrol of endogenous proteins, we further demonstrate the dynamic alleviation of neuropathic pain through light-dependent facilitation of mGlu by a photoswitchable positive allosteric modulator. Finally, coupling photopharmacology and analgesic conditioned place preference, we show a significant pain-reducing effect of mGlu4 activation. Taken together, these data highlight the analgesic potential of enhancing amygdala mGlu activity to counteract neuropathy reinforcing its therapeutic interest for the treatment of pathological pain.