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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jan 2024 - 2 Feb 2024

2024 Jan 26

Mol Neurobiol


Dermorphin [D-Arg2, Lys4] (1-4) Amide Alleviates Frostbite-Induced Pain by Regulating TRP Channel-Mediated Microglial Activation and Neuroinflammation.


Ummadisetty O, Akhilesh , Gadepalli A, Chouhan D, Patil U, Singh SP, Singh S, Tiwari V


Cold injury or frostbite is a common medical condition that causes serious clinical complications including sensory abnormalities and chronic pain ultimately affecting overall well-being. Opioids are the first-choice drug for the treatment of frostbite-induced chronic pain; however, their notable side effects, including sedation, motor incoordination, respiratory depression, and drug addiction, present substantial obstacle to their clinical utility. To address this challenge, we have exploited peripheral mu-opioid receptors as potential target for the treatment of frostbite-induced chronic pain. In this study, we investigated the effect of dermorphin [D-Arg2, Lys4] (1-4) amide (DALDA), a peripheral mu-opioid receptor agonist, on frostbite injury and hypersensitivity induced by deep freeze magnet exposure in rats. Animals with frostbite injury displayed significant hypersensitivity to mechanical, thermal, and cold stimuli which was significant ameliorated on treatment with different doses of DALDA (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg) and ibuprofen (100 mg/kg). Further, molecular biology investigations unveiled heightened oxido-nitrosative stress, coupled with a notable upregulation in the expression of TRP channels (TRPA1, TRPV1, and TRPM8), glial cell activation, and neuroinflammation (TNF-α, IL-1β) in the sciatic nerve, dorsal root ganglion (DRG), and spinal cord of frostbite-injured rats. Treatment with DALDA leads to substantial reduction in TRP channels, microglial activation, and suppression of the inflammatory cascade in the ipsilateral L4-L5 DRG and spinal cord of rats. Overall, findings from the present study suggest that activation of peripheral mu-opioid receptors mitigates chronic pain in rats by modulating the expression of TRP channels and suppressing glial cell activation and neuroinflammation.