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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Jan 2024 - 26 Jan 2024

2023 Dec 19





Peripheral mu-opioid receptor activation by dermorphin [D-Arg2, Lys4] (1-4) amide alleviates behavioral and neurobiological aberrations in rat model of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.


Gadepalli A, Ummadisetty O, Akhilesh , Chouhan D, Yadav KE, Tiwari V


Paclitaxel, a frequently utilized chemotherapeutic agent, often gives rise to severe and distressing sensory neuropathy in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Unfortunately, current therapeutics for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP) demonstrate limited effectiveness and are burdened with the potential for central side effects such as sedation, respiratory depression, cognitive impairment, and addiction, posing substantial clinical challenges. In light of these limitations, present study is designed to investigate the therapeutic potential of Dermorphin [D-Arg2, Lys4] (1-4) amide (DALDA), a preferential peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor agonist, in rat model of CINP. The primary objective was to assess the analgesic properties of DALDA and elucidate the underlying mechanisms governing its therapeutic activity. Our findings revealed that DALDA treatment significantly ameliorated paclitaxel-induced evoked and spontaneous ongoing pain in rats without causing drug addiction and other central side effects. Molecular analyses further unveiled that paclitaxel administration resulted in increased expression of TRP channels, NR2B, voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and neuroinflammatory markers in both the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and the spinal cord (L4-L5 region) of rats. DALDA treatment significantly downregulated ion channels (TRPs, VGSCs) and NR2B expressions, concomitant with the inhibition of microglial activation, resulting in the suppression of oxido-nitrosative stress and neuroinflammatory cascade. Findings from the current study suggests that peripheral mu-opioid receptors may offer a potential target for the treatment of patients suffering from CINP, offering new avenues for improved pain relief while minimizing central side effects.