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2023 Jan 04

Neurosci Lett

Effects of intra-nasal melanocortin-4 receptor antagonist on trigeminal neuropathic pain in male and female rats.


Korczeniewska O A, Tatineni K, Faheem S, Fresin W, Bonitto J, Khan J, Eliav E, Benoliel R
Neurosci Lett. 2023 Jan 04:137054.
PMID: 36610589.


Treatment of chronic orofacial pain remains a major therapeutic challenge despite available medications. Melanocortins have been implicated in pathologic pain. Intrathecal administration of MC4R antagonists has been shown to alleviate neuropathic pain (NP) in male rats. However, intrathecal delivery is very invasive and requires surgeon's intervention. Intra-nasal rout offers a non-invasive drug delivery method that can be self-administered making it very attractive clinically. In this study, we investigated the effects of intra-nasally delivered MC4R antagonist (HS014) on trigeminal neuropathic pain (TNP) in male and female rats. We also measured the MC4R protein levels in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) and infraorbital nerve (ION) of rats. We used ION chronic constriction injury (ION-CCI) to induce TNP in rats. We used von Frey and pinprick assays to measure the development of hypersensitivity in the face following ION-CCI. At 22 days post-ION-CCI, we delivered HS014 intra-nasally to measure its effects on TNP in rats. We used enzyme linked immunosorbent assay to measure MC4R protein levels in the TG and ION. ION-CCI resulted in a significant increase of MC4R protein levels in the ipsilateral TG and ION of male and female rats. Intra-nasal delivered HS014 resulted in a significant reduction of ION-CCI induced hypersensitivity in male and female rats. These results demonstrate that intranasal delivery of MC4R antagonist alleviated TNP in male and female rats and suggest that such treatment could be beneficial therapeutically for individuals with chronic NP.