Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A safer, more effective morphine may be possible with Indiana University discovery

25.03.2011
An orphan drug originally used for HIV treatment has been found to short-circuit the process that results in additional sensitivity and pain from opioid use. The study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine is reported in the March 25, 2011 issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

The researchers say the finding in animal models may ultimately make morphine a safer and more effective drug.

Traditionally opioids were used to relieve pain following surgery, from cancer and at the end of life. Today opioids are used widely for chronically painful conditions like osteoarthritis and back pain and may need to be prescribed for decades.

Morphine, the gold standard for controlling moderate to severe pain, has debilitating side effects including reduced respiration, constipation, itching and addiction. Patients also develop a tolerance to morphine which can lead to a complicated spiral.

"In addition to the recognized side effects, morphine actually creates sensitivity and causes more pain through inducing an inflammatory response in the body," said first author Natalie Wilson, a National Science Foundation Fellow at the IU School of Medicine.

This increased sensitivity is clinically known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH). Frequently, patients receiving opioids for pain control may actually become more sensitive to certain painful stimuli necessitating an increased opioid dosage. OIH may also represent one of many reasons for declining levels of analgesia while receiving opioids or a worsening pain syndrome.

"The drug itself is producing its own new pain," said Fletcher A. White, Ph.D., Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia and director of Anesthesia Research at the IU School of Medicine. "I tend to view it as an injury as it appears to be creating another pain."

Dr. White explained that morphine sets into motion a cascade of events, one of which is to increase molecular communication to and from the nerves by a protein known as CXCR4. This increase in CXCR4 signaling contributes to a neuroinflammatory response causing increased sensitivity and additional pain.

Drs. Wilson and White and colleagues administered AMD3100, an orphan drug known to block the CXCR4 response, to rats. By halting the signaling process, the researchers interrupted the OIH response, Dr. White explained. "If this translates appropriately in people, this application would likely make morphine a safer, more effective drug for chronic pain control."

The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Co-authors are Richard J. Miller, Ph.D., and Hosung Jung, Ph.D., both molecular pharmacologist at Northwestern University.

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

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>