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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 03

Int J Mol Sci




Unraveling the Connection: Pain and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.


Kawanaka R, Jin H, Aoe T


Pain is a complex and multifaceted experience. Recent research has increasingly focused on the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the induction and modulation of pain. The ER is an essential organelle for cells and plays a key role in protein folding and calcium dynamics. Various pathological conditions, such as ischemia, hypoxia, toxic substances, and increased protein production, may disturb protein folding, causing an increase in misfolding proteins in the ER. Such an overload of the folding process leads to ER stress and causes the unfolded protein response (UPR), which increases folding capacity in the ER. Uncompensated ER stress impairs intracellular signaling and cell function, resulting in various diseases, such as diabetes and degenerative neurological diseases. ER stress may be a critical universal mechanism underlying human diseases. Pain sensations involve the central as well as peripheral nervous systems. Several preclinical studies indicate that ER stress in the nervous system is enhanced in various painful states, especially in neuropathic pain conditions. The purpose of this narrative review is to uncover the intricate relationship between ER stress and pain, exploring molecular pathways, implications for various pain conditions, and potential therapeutic strategies.