Science and Technology
28.07.2013

Scientists discover USP process to block inflammatory pain

Study suggests that the peripheral block is fractalkine receptor potential target for controlling these types of pain

Study conducted by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP), USP can help in designing drugs for the control of inflammatory pain, such as those that accompany rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientists have discovered that a protein, fractalkine is involved in the induction of chronic pain of inflammatory origin. The study suggests that blocking peripheral receptors of this protein is a potential target for the control of these types of pain.

A paper on the research was published last June 17 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science-USA with the title Fractalkine mediates inflammatory pain through activation of satellite glial cells. The authors are professors Sergio Henrique Ferreira Cunha and Thiago Mattar, a postdoctoral Guilherme Rabelo and graduate student Jhimmy Talbot, all of the Department of Pharmacology, FMRP.

According to Professor Mattar Thiago Cunha, the first time it was possible to demonstrate the existence of a cell type that participates in the induction and maintenance of pain: are called satellite cells. Found exclusively in the dorsal root ganglia, they involve neurons that carry pain and its activation are mediated by a protein, fractalkine. This protein has been described in painful processes, but no study had fractalkine associated with satellite cell activation.

If we can develop a drug that blocks this process, we can lessen the pain. We know that pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop drugs to block the effect of this protein. Perhaps these drugs can serve as new analgesics against inflammatory pain, says Cunha.

The most prevalent between inflammatory and whose main symptom is pain rheumatoid arthritis. However, the researcher points out that research can contribute in the near future, alleviate pain of people suffering with osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatic diseases in general, as well as surgical trauma and twists.

Source: USP