Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Indiana University neuroscientists map a new target to wipe pain away

06.06.2011
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered a peptide that short circuits a pathway for chronic pain. Unlike current treatments this peptide does not exhibit deleterious side effects such as reduced motor coordination, memory loss, or depression, according to an article in Nature Medicine posted online June 5, 2011.

The peptide, CBD3, has been shown in mice to interfere with signals that navigate calcium channels to produce pain. Unlike other substances that block pain signals, CBD3 does not directly inhibit the influx of calcium. This is important as influx of calcium regulates heart rhythm and vital functions in other organs.

Rajesh Khanna, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said the peptide discovered by him and his colleagues is potentially safer to use than addictive opioids or cone snail toxin Prialt®–a recognized analgesic that is injected into the spinal column, both of which can cause respiratory distress, cardiac irregularities and other problems.

"After opioids–the gold standard for pain control -- the next target is calcium channels," said Dr. Khanna. "Along the pain pathway in the spinal cord, there are pain-sensing neurons called nociceptors that have an abundance of calcium channels."

Earlier international research has shown that the calcium channel is a key player within the pathway for pain signals. Based on work from Dr. Khanna's laboratory, it is also accepted that an axonal protein, CRMP-2, binds to the calcium channel "acting like a remote control" to modulate transmission of excitability and pain signals, Dr. Khanna explained.

He and his colleagues discovered the CBD3 peptide, a portion of the CRMP-2 protein, realizing that its smaller size would be beneficial in producing a synthetic version for drug development.

CBD3 can be given systemically and blocks pain in a variety of acute as well as chronic pain models, he said. The novel peptide binds to the calcium channel and reduces the number of excitability signals without disrupting the beneficial global calcium flow. Upon reaching the brain, these signals are interpreted as the sensation of pain.

"Since our approach does not directly inhibit calcium entry through voltage-gated channels, we expect that this molecule will be more specific and have fewer side effects than currently available analgesics," said Dr. Khanna. "We anticipate that this peptide will serve as a novel pharmacological therapeutic for the relief of chronic pain."

Dr. Khanna is a primary investigator in the Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Research Institute and the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group. His Stark Neuroscience Institute colleagues involved in the research are first author Joel M. Brittain and second author Sarah M. Wilson, both PhD students in his laboratory, and co-first-author Djane B. Duarte, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow. Members of the Harvard University Department of Anesthesiology also assisted with the research.

Funding for the research was provided in part by a American Heart Association National Scientist Development Grant, the Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust Fund and the Indiana Genomics Initiative.

Mary L. Hardin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iupui.edu

Further reports about: CBD3 CRMP-2 Medicine Neuroscience calcium channel chronic pain

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

A chip for environmental and health monitoring

15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>