I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 May 30

J Control Release


Galacturonic acid-capsaicin prodrug for prolonged nociceptive-selective nerve blockade.


Li Q, Li X, Zhang Y, Yang Q, Hathcock S, Cai Y, Busa P, Pang S, Tan L, Kim B, Zhao C


There is an urgent clinical need to develop nerve-blocking agents capable of inducing long duration sensory block without muscle weakness or paralysis to treat post-operative and chronic pain conditions. Here, we report a galacturonic acid-capsaicin (GalA-CAP) prodrug as an effective nociceptive-selective axon blocking agent. Capsaicin selectively acts on nociceptive signaling without motor nerve blockade or disruption of proprioception and touch sensation, and the galacturonic acid moiety enhance prodrug permeability across the restrictive peripheral nerve barriers (PNBs) via carrier-mediated transport by the facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs). In addition, following prodrug transport across PNBs, the inactive prodrug is converted to active capsaicin through linker hydrolysis, leading to sustained drug release. A single injection of GalA-CAP prodrug at the sciatic nerves of rats led to nociceptive-selective nerve blockade lasting for 234 ± 37 h, which is a sufficient duration to address the most intense period of postsurgical pain. Furthermore, the prodrug markedly mitigated capsaicin-associated side effects, leading to a notable decrease in systemic toxicity, benign local tissue reactions, and diminished burning and irritant effects.