Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein Found That May Provide Relief From Neuropathic Pain

Date:
December 6, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Research in rodents has provided evidence that a protein called LRP1 may help to ease neuropathic pain by blocking the response of glial cells that support and protect sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system. Neuropathic pain is caused by injury to the peripheral nerves in diseases such as HIV/AIDS, shingles, and cancer or in repetitive motion disorders and trauma, and does not respond well to conventional pain-relieving drugs.

Neuropathic pain is caused by injury to the peripheral nerves in diseases such as HIV/AIDS, shingles, and cancer or in repetitive motion disorders and trauma, and does not respond well to conventional pain-relieving drugs.

Research in rodents by scientists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine has provided evidence that a protein called LRP1 may help to ease neuropathic pain by blocking the response of glial cells that support and protect sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system. Their findings could represent a novel target for neuropathic pain therapy.

"Neuropathic pain differs from ordinary pain in that it is usually perceived as ongoing burning or as 'pins and needles' electric-shock type of sensation," said Wendy Campana, Ph.D., associate professor in UCSD's Department of Anesthesiology, who led the study. "It is caused by nerve damage that can be associated with chronic inflammation or direct nerve injury."

The UCSD studies show that a form of LRP1 that is present in body fluids such as blood counteracts the activity of inflammatory cytokines, proteins which are involved in developing and sustaining chronic pain states. Cytokines act as messengers to either stimulate or inhibit the immune response, are produced by many cell types including white blood cells present during infection and inflammation

"We think that the anti-inflammatory activity of LRP1 can be harnessed to decrease chronic pain," said Campana. "By decreasing the presence of cytokines in the area of nerve damage, LRP1 calms the pain signals that are sent to the spinal cord."

In-vitro analysis confirmed that LRP1 works to modify the response of glial cells that results in neuropathic pain, according to Campana, who added that interactions of neurons and glial cells are very important in determining pain.

Campana worked with post-doctoral scholar Alban Gaultier, Ph.D., and Steven L. Gonias, M.D., chair of UCSD's Department of Pathology, who are exploring other aspects of LRP1 function. The UCSD scientists observed that injured peripheral nerves in both mice and rats release LRP1 into the surrounding tissue. Administration of LRP1 into the rodents' sciatic nerves prior to injury provided a protective effect, decreasing the level and activity of injury-induced proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha, in the local environment and inhibiting spontaneous pain.

In addition to decreasing inflammatory cytokines locally, treatment with LRP1 also decreased inflammatory cytokines in a region called the spinal dorsal horn, where central pain processing occurs.

"TNF-alpha has some positive properties in infection, so you may not want to block its activity entirely," said Campana. "It appears that LRP1 limits, but doesn't completely block, the increase in proinflammatory cytokines produced by glial cells after nerve injury. We think this research opens up a number of new research directions for understanding and treating chronic neuropathic pain."

The article "A shed form of LDL receptor--related protein--1 regulates peripheral nerve injury and neuropathic pain in rodents" was published December 3 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Additional contributors to this study include Sanja Arandjelovic and Nikola Dragojiovic, UCSD Department of Pathology; Robert R. Myers, UCSD Departments of Pathology and Anesthesiology; and Xiaoqing Li, Julie Janes, George P. Zhou and Jenny Dolkas, UCSD Department of Anesthesiology. The research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Protein Found That May Provide Relief From Neuropathic Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190620.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2007, December 6). Protein Found That May Provide Relief From Neuropathic Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190620.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Protein Found That May Provide Relief From Neuropathic Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190620.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins