I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science, Psychology

Animal Studies, Genetics, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jul 20



Tianeptine promotes lasting antiallodynic effects in a mouse model of neuropathic pain.


Serafini RA, Estill M, Pekarskaya EA, Sakloth F, Shen L, Javitch JA, Zachariou V


Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as desipramine (DMI), are effective at managing neuropathic pain symptoms but often take several weeks to become effective and also lead to considerable side effects. Tianeptine (TIAN) is an atypical antidepressant that activates the mu-opioid receptor but does not produce analgesic tolerance or withdrawal in mice, nor euphoria in humans, at clinically-relevant doses. Here, we evaluate the efficacy of TIAN at persistently alleviating mechanical allodynia in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain, even well after drug clearance. After finding an accelerated onset of antiallodynic action compared to DMI, we used genetically modified mice to gain insight into RGS protein-associated pathways that modulate the efficacy of TIAN relative to DMI in models of neuropathic pain. Because we observed similar behavioral responses to both TIAN and DMI treatment in RGS4, RGSz1, and RGS9 knockout mice, we performed RNA sequencing on the NAc of TIAN- and DMI-treated mice after prolonged SNI to further clarify potential mechanisms underlying TIANs faster therapeutic actions. Our bioinformatic analysis revealed distinct transcriptomic signatures between the two drugs, with TIAN more directly reversing SNI-induced differentially expressed genes, and further predicted several upstream regulators that may be implicated in onset of action. This new understanding of the molecular pathways underlying TIAN action may enable the development of novel and more efficacious pharmacological approaches for the management of neuropathic pain.