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 A new method of tooth repair? Scientists uncover mechanisms to inform future treatment
09.08.2019 | University of Plymouth

nachricht Take a break! Brain stimulation improves motor learning
08.08.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

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: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

Im Focus: Vehicle Emissions: New sensor technology to improve air quality in cities

Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.

Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...

Im Focus: Self healing robots that "feel pain"

Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation of robots: (soft) robots that ‘feel pain’ and heal themselves. The partners can count on 3 million Euro in support from the European Commission.

Soon robots will not only be found in factories and laboratories, but will be assisting us in our immediate environment. They will help us in the household, to...

Im Focus: Scientists create the world's thinnest gold

Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick - the thinnest unsupported gold ever created.

The researchers measured the thickness of the gold to be 0.47 nanometres - that is one million times thinner than a human finger nail. The material is regarded...

Im Focus: Study on attosecond timescale casts new light on electron dynamics in transition metals

An international team of scientists involving the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has unraveled the light-induced electron-localization dynamics in transition metals at the attosecond timescale. The team investigated for the first time the many-body electron dynamics in transition metals before thermalization sets in. Their work has now appeared in Nature Physics.

The researchers from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), the MPSD (Germany), the Center for Computational Sciences of University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Center for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Working out why plants get sick

16.08.2019 | Life Sciences

Newfound superconductor material could be the 'silicon of quantum computers'

16.08.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Stanford develops wireless sensors that stick to the skin to track our health

16.08.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>