Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DREAM raises pain relief hopes

15.01.2002


No dream: these mice feel little pain.
J. Penniger


Missing protein leaves mice impervious to pain

Researchers have a new lead for treating pain. A protein called DREAM appears to play a key role in how mice respond to heat, touch and inflammation1.

Mice lacking DREAM seem oblivious to all types of pain, find Josef Penninger and his colleagues at The AMGEN Institute, Toronto, Canada. The animals can bear acute pain - the kind caused for example by heat, pressure, or injections as well as chronic inflammatory pain - that which arthritis patients suffer. They seem otherwise normal.



DREAM was first identified in 1999, when it was known by three different names and had three different proposed functions in biological systems. "It was very unpredictable what DREAM would be doing physiologically," says Penninger.

The protein’s full name is Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonistic Modulator. Low DREAM levels are accompanied by high levels of dynorphin in the mice’s spinal cords. This morphine-like substance is believed to alleviate the animals experience of pain. "It’s exciting because it looks to be so specific," says Penninger.

While the results suggest altering DREAM function might be a way to change pain perception, practical applications are a long way off. "This is a major mechanistic insight," says John Wood who studies pain receptors at University College in London - but whether or not DREAM acts in a similar way in humans remains to be seen, he cautions.

Current estimates suggest that one in five people worldwide live with chronic pain from cancer and other debilitating diseases. Treatments with fewer side effects than existing analgesics have long been a goal for researchers.

References

  1. Cheng, H.-Y. M. et al. DREAM is a critical transcriptional repressor for pain modulation. Cell, 108, 31 - 43, (2002).


VIRGINIA GEWIN | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020114/020114-1.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser processing is a matter for the head – LZH at the Hannover Messe 2019

25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

A Varied Menu

25.03.2019 | Life Sciences

‘Time Machine’ heralds new era

25.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>