Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery of why sunburn hurts could lead to new pain relief for inflammatory conditions

Date:
July 7, 2011
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
Researchers have found a molecule in the body which controls sensitivity to pain from UVB irradiation, identifying it as a new target for medicines to treat pain caused by other common inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. The molecule, called CXCL5, is part of a family of proteins called chemokines, which recruit inflammatory immune cells to the injured tissue, triggering pain and tenderness. This is the first study to reveal this molecule's role in mediating pain.

CXCL5 recruits immune cells into the skin.
Credit: King's College London

Researchers at King's College London have found a molecule in the body which controls sensitivity to pain from UVB irradiation, identifying it as a new target for medicines to treat pain caused by other common inflammatory conditions such as arthritis

Researchers at King's College London have found a molecule in the body which controls sensitivity to pain from UVB irradiation, identifying it as a new target for medicines to treat pain caused by other common inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

The molecule, called CXCL5, is part of a family of proteins called chemokines, which recruit inflammatory immune cells to the injured tissue, triggering pain and tenderness. This is the first study to reveal this molecule's role in mediating pain.

The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust (as part of the London Pain Consortium), and the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), is to be published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The research teams, led by Professor Stephen McMahon and Dr David Bennett at King's College London, carried out a simple procedure in healthy human volunteers, to expose small patches of their skin to UVB irradiation, creating a small area of sunburn. The treated skin became tender over the following hours, with peak sensory change one to two days later. At this peak the researchers took small biopsies of the affected skin and analyzed the tissue for hundreds of pain mediators.

They found that several of these mediators were over-expressed, so they then examined the biology of these factors in rats to find out whether they were likely to be responsible for driving the pain in the sunburnt skin.

The mediator CXCL5 was significantly over-expressed in the human biopsies and the biology of this chemokine in rats, which suggests it is responsible for a significant amount of sensitivity in the sunburn.

Further tests carried out on the rats showed that a neutralising antibody targeting CXCL5 significantly reduced the sensitivity to pain caused by the UVB irradiation.

Professor Steve McMahon, from the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases at King's and head of the London Pain Consortium, said: 'These findings have shown for the first time the important role of this particular molecule in controlling pain from exposure to UVB irradiation. But this study isn't just about sunburn -- we hope that we have identified a potential target which can be utilised to understand more about pain in other inflammatory conditions like arthritis and cystitis.

'I'm excited about where these findings could take us in terms of eventually developing a new type of analgesic for people who suffer from chronic pain.'

The researchers say that not only are the findings of importance for understanding the aetiology of pain, but the approach they used by first identifying the mechanisms in humans and then looking at these in pre-clinical animal models is a novel one in the field of pain research.

Dr David Bennett, Wellcome clinical scientist at King's and honorary consultant neurologist at King's College Hospital, said: 'Traditionally scientists have first studied the biology of diseases in animal models to identify mechanisms relevant to creating that state. But this often does not translate into effective treatments in the clinic. What we have done is reverse this traditional method by identifying putative mediators in humans first, and then exploring this further in rats. This enabled us to see that the rats' response to these pain mediators closely parallel those occurring in humans and identify mechanisms of action in the preclinical studies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. M. Dawes, M. Calvo, J. R. Perkins, K. J. Paterson, H. Kiesewetter, C. Hobbs, T. K. Y. Kaan, C. Orengo, D. L. H. Bennett, S. B. McMahon. CXCL5 Mediates UVB Irradiation-Induced Pain. Science Translational Medicine, 2011; 3 (90): 90ra60 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002193

Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Discovery of why sunburn hurts could lead to new pain relief for inflammatory conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706144612.htm>.
King's College London. (2011, July 7). Discovery of why sunburn hurts could lead to new pain relief for inflammatory conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706144612.htm
King's College London. "Discovery of why sunburn hurts could lead to new pain relief for inflammatory conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110706144612.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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