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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Feb 2024 - 9 Feb 2024


Front Pharmacol



J-2156, a small molecule somatostatin type 4 receptor agonist, alleviated hindpaw hypersensitivity in the streptozotocin-induced rat model of painful diabetic neuropathy but with a 2-fold decrease in potency at an advanced stage in the model, mimicking morphine.


Kuo A, Imam MZ, Li R, Lin L, Raboczyj A, Bohmer AE, Nicholson JR, Corradini L, Smith MT


There is a large unmet need for novel pain-killers to improve relief of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN). Herein, we assessed the efficacy of the somatostatin type 4 (SST) receptor agonist, J-2156, for relief of PDN in rats. Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin (STZ; 70 mg/kg) and bilateral hindpaw hypersensitivity was fully developed by 8-week post-STZ. In the intervals, 8-12-weeks (morphine-sensitive phase; Phase 1) and 16-18-weeks (morphine-hyposensitive phase; Phase 2) post-STZ, rats received a single dose of intraperitoneal (i.p.) J-2156 (10, 20, 30 mg/kg), gabapentin (100 mg/kg i.p.), subcutaneous morphine (1 mg/kg) or vehicle. Hindpaw withdrawal thresholds (PWTs) were assessed using von Frey filaments pre-dose and at regular intervals over 3-h post-dose. In Phase 1, J-2156 at 30 mg/kg evoked significant anti-allodynia in the hindpaws with maximal effect at 1.5 h compared with 1 h for gabapentin and morphine. The durations of action for all three compounds were greater than 3 h. The corresponding mean (±SEM) extent and duration of anti-allodynia (ΔPWT AUC) for gabapentin did not differ significantly from that for J-2156 (30 mg/kg) or morphine. However, in Phase 2, the ΔPWT AUC for morphine was reduced to approximately 25% of that in Phase 1, mirroring our previous work. Similarly, the mean (±SEM) ΔPWT AUC for J-2156 (30 mg/kg) in Phase 2 was approximately 45% of that for Phase 1 whereas for gabapentin the mean (±SEM) ΔPWT AUCs did not differ significantly ( > 0.05) between the two phases. Our findings further describe the preclinical pain relief profile of J-2156 and complement previous work in rat models of inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain and low back pain. SST receptor agonists hold promise as novel therapeutics for the relief of PDN, a type of peripheral neuropathic pain that is often intractable to relief with clinically used drug treatment options.