Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

Treating Neuropathic Pain - A New Approach

  • Published: 2018-05-04 : *Press Release by University of Turku : Contact: utu.fi/en
  • Synopsis: Reseach results suggest that protein NOS1AP might be a valuable novel target in the development of more effective medicines to treat neuropathic pain.

Quote: "Neuropathic pain is extremely common, affecting up to 5-10% of the population globally, and no cures or effective treatments are currently available."

Main Document

Neuropathic pain is the chronic, pathological pain that continues even when the cause of pain is removed. Causes include damage to nerve cells and medicines used to treat cancer. A collaboration between research groups from Indiana University in Bloomington, USA and Turku Centre for Biotechnology in Finland has discovered a novel therapeutic that appears to interrupt the signaling cascades in the body required for multiple forms of neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain is extremely common, affecting up to 5-10% of the population globally, and no cures or effective treatments are currently available. Moreover, chemotherapy-induced pain can be so extreme that it causes some patients with cancer to discontinue treatment and greatly impairs quality of life in survivors.

Fig 1. The Adaptor Protein NOS1AP in a Microscopic Image - The study aimed to block signals caused by the binding of nNOS to the protein NOS1AP (model on the left) during neurotransmission, as a new approach for treating chronic pain. NOS1AP is present in fine structures of living neurons (image on the right), including the thin filopodial structures visible here that may be synaptic spines - Image Credit: The University of Turku.
About This Image: Fig 1. The Adaptor Protein NOS1AP in a Microscopic Image - The study aimed to block signals caused by the binding of nNOS to the protein NOS1AP (model on the left) during neurotransmission, as a new approach for treating chronic pain. NOS1AP is present in fine structures of living neurons (image on the right), including the thin filopodial structures visible here that may be synaptic spines - Image Credit: The University of Turku.
Prior to this study, researchers were aware that pathological pain is triggered by a biological pathway that is activated by binding of the excitatory transmitter glutamate to receptors called NMDARs. This process then triggers activation of an enzyme neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) that generates nitric oxide gas that plays a role in aberrant pain sensation. However, experimental drugs designed to block either the NMDAR receptor or the nNOS enzyme can cause intolerable side effects, such as memory impairment and motor dysfunction.

Now, researchers from Indiana University in Bloomington, USA and the Turku Centre for Biotechnology in Finland have demonstrated that an experimental molecule reduces neuropathic pain in rodents resulting from either nerve damage or a common chemotherapy drug.

The team in the University of Turku in Finland was able to design the molecule after discovering that a protein, NOS1AP, that is downstream of nNOS, triggers several biological pathways that are associated with abnormal glutamate signaling, including neuropathic pain.

The Indiana University group demonstrated that an experimental molecule designed by the Turku group to prevent nNOS signalling to NOS1AP reduced two forms of neuropathic pain in rodents. These forms of pain develop as result of either chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel or nerve damage.

The treatment also disrupted markers of nociceptive signaling in the spinal cord when the test drug was injected at that site into mice. Importantly, the NOS1AP inhibitor did not cause typical motor side effects observed with previous experimental molecules that directly target NMDARs.

- Importantly, the chemical that prevents this signalling did not cause the negative side effects observed in previous experiments. Our studies suggest that the nNOS-NOS1AP interaction site is a previously unrecognized target for pain therapies", says Professor Andrea Hohmann from the Indiana University in Bloomington.

The results suggest that the protein NOS1AP might be a valuable novel target in the development of more effective medicines to treat neuropathic pain.

- NOS1AP should be studied in more detail to find the best way to prevent this protein from contributing to chronic pain, said Senior Researcher Michael Courtney from the University of Turku.

This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute (grantome.com/grant/NIH/R01-CA200417) held jointly by Andrea Hohmann at Indiana University and Michael Courtney in Turku.

Lee WH, Li LL, Chawla A, Hudmon A, Lai YY, Courtney MJ, Hohmann AG. Disruption of nNOS-NOS1AP protein-protein interactions suppresses neuropathic pain in mice

Discussion

• Have your say! Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Treating Neuropathic Pain - A New Approach : University of Turku.
2 : Virtual Reality Reduces Phantom Pain in Paraplegics : Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
3 : New Insights Into CRPS a Chronic Pain Condition : University of Bath.
4 : Determining the Origin of Hip and/or Spine Pain : American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
5 : Effective and Safe Options to Treat Pain : Family Features Editorial Syndicate.
From our Pain - Acute & Chronic section - Full List (64 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
2 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
3 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
4 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
5 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
6 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
7 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage
8 : How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art

*Press Release by University of Turku: Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are connected with this page and want it corrected/updated please contact us.



Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™