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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Oct 2023 - 20 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 02

Int J Mol Sci




Anti-Hyperalgesic Efficacy of Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) Against Visceral Pain Induced by Colitis: Involvement of Glia in the Enteric and Central Nervous System.


Lucarini E, Micheli L, Toti A, Ciampi C, Margiotta F, Di Cesare Mannelli L, Ghelardini C


The management of abdominal pain in patients affected by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) still represents a problem because of the lack of effective treatments. Acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR) has proved useful in the treatment of different types of chronic pain with excellent tolerability. The present work aimed at evaluating the anti-hyperalgesic efficacy of ALCAR in a model of persistent visceral pain associated with colitis induced by 2,4-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS) injection. Two different protocols were applied. In the preventive protocol, ALCAR was administered daily starting 14 days to 24 h before the delivery of DNBS. In the interventive protocol, ALCAR was daily administered starting the same day of DNBS injection, and the treatment was continued for 14 days. In both cases, ALCAR significantly reduced the establishment of visceral hyperalgesia in DNBS-treated animals, though the interventive protocol showed a greater efficacy than the preventive one. The interventive protocol partially reduced colon damage in rats, counteracting enteric glia and spinal astrocyte activation resulting from colitis, as analyzed by immunofluorescence. On the other hand, the preventive protocol effectively protected enteric neurons from the inflammatory insult. These findings suggest the putative usefulness of ALCAR as a food supplement for patients suffering from IBDs.