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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • Sage Journals (Sage Publications)  (17)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 14 January 2011, Vol.7
    Description: Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) couple to the inhibitory G-protein Gi. The group II mGluRs include two subtypes, mGlu2 and mGlu3, and their pharmacological activation produces analgesic effects in inflammatory and neuropathic pain states. However, the specific contribution of each one of the two subtypes has not been clarified due to the lack of selective orthosteric ligands that can discriminate between mGlu2 and mGlu3 subtypes. In this study we used mGlu2 or mGlu3 knock-out mice to dissect the specific role for these two receptors in the endogenous control of inflammatory pain and their specific contribution to the analgesic activity of mixed mGlu2/3 receptor agonists. Our results showed that mGlu2−/− mice display a significantly greater pain response compared to their wild type littermates. Interestingly the increased pain sensitivity in mGlu2−/− mice occurred only in the second phase of the formalin test. No differences were observed in the first phase. In contrast, mGlu3−/− mice did not significantly differ from their wild type littermates in either phase of the formalin test. When systemically injected, a single administration of the mGlu2/3 agonist, LY379268 (3 mg/kg, ip), showed a significant reduction of both phases in wild-type mice and in mGlu3−/− but not in mGlu2−/− mice. However tolerance to the analgesic effect of LY379268 (3 mg/kg, ip) in mGlu3−/− mice developed following 5 consecutive days of injection. Taken together, these results demonstrate that: (i) mGlu2 receptors play a predominant role over mGlu3 receptors in the control of inflammatory pain in mice; (ii) the analgesic activity of mixed mGlu2/3 agonists is entirely mediated by the activation of the mGlu2 subtype and (iii) the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect of mGlu2/3 agonists develops despite the lack of mGlu3 receptors.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Multiple Sclerosis Journal, October 2011, Vol.17(10), pp.1155-1161
    Description: The delayed conditioned eyeblink reflex, in which an individual learns to close the eyelid in response to a conditioned stimulus (e.g. a tone) relies entirely on the functional integrity of a cerebellar motor circuitry that involves the contingent activation of Purkinje cells by parallel and climbing fibres. Molecular changes that disrupt the function of this circuitry, in particular a loss of type-1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1 receptors), occur in Purkinje cells of patients with multiple sclerosis and in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis as a result of neuroinflammation. mGlu1 receptors are required for cerebellar motor learning associated with the conditioned eyeblink reflex. We propose that the delayed paradigm of the eyeblink conditioning might be particularly valuable for the detection of subtle abnormalities of cerebellar motor learning that are clinically silent and are not associated with demyelinating lesions or axonal damage. In addition, the test might have predictive value following a clinically isolated syndrome, and might be helpful for the evaluation of the efficacy of drug treatment in multiple sclerosis.
    Keywords: Cerebellum ; Eyeblink Conditioning ; Mglu1 Receptors ; Motor Learning ; Multiple Sclerosis ; Purkinje Cells ; Medicine
    ISSN: 1352-4585
    E-ISSN: 1477-0970
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 23 October 2012, Vol.8
    Description: Background: Pharmacological activation of type-2 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2 receptors) causes analgesia in experimental models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Presynaptic mGlu2 receptors are activated by the glutamate released from astrocytes by means of the cystine/glutamate antiporter (System x−c or Sx−c). We examined the analgesic activity of the Sx−c activator, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), in mice developing inflammatory or neuropathic pain. Results: A single injection of NAC (100 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced nocifensive behavior in the second phase of the formalin test. NAC-induced analgesia was abrogated by the Sx−c inhibitor, sulphasalazine (8 mg/kg, i.p.) or by the mGlu2/3 receptor antagonist, LY341495 (1 mg/kg, i.p.). NAC still caused analgesia in mGlu3−/− mice, but was inactive in mGlu2−/− mice. In wild-type mice, NAC retained the analgesic activity in the formalin test when injected daily for 7 days, indicating the lack of tolerance. Both single and repeated injections of NAC also caused analgesia in the complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) model of chronic inflammatory pain, and, again, analgesia was abolished by LY341495. Data obtained in mice developing neuropathic pain in response to chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve were divergent. In this model, a single injection of NAC caused analgesia that was reversed by LY341495, whereas repeated injections of NAC were ineffective. Thus, tolerance to NAC-induced analgesia developed in the CCI model, but not in models of inflammatory pain. The CFA and CCI models differed with respect to the expression levels of xCT (the catalytic subunit of Sx−c) and activator of G-protein signaling type-3 (AGS3) in the dorsal portion of the lumbar spinal cord. CFA-treated mice showed no change in either protein, whereas CCI mice showed an ipislateral reduction in xCT levels and a bilateral increase in AGS3 levels in the spinal cord. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that pharmacological activation of Sx−c causes analgesia by reinforcing the endogenous activation of mGlu2 receptors. NAC has an excellent profile of safety and tolerability when clinically used as a mucolytic agent or in the management of acetaminophen overdose. Thus, our data encourage the use of NAC for the experimental treatment of inflammatory pain in humans.
    Keywords: Cystine/Glutamate Antiporter ; N-Acetyl-Cysteine ; Mglu2 Receptors ; Analgesia ; Ags3 ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 20 March 2015, Vol.11
    Description: Background Emerging research seeking novel analgesic drugs focuses on agents targeting group-II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2 and mGlu3 receptors). N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) enhances the endogenous activation of mGlu2/3 receptors by activating the glial glutamate:cystine membrane exchanger. Here, we examined whether NAC inhibits nociceptive responses in humans and animals. We tested the effect of oral NAC (1.2 g) on thermal-pain thresholds and laser-evoked potentials in 10 healthy volunteers, according to a crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, and the effect of NAC (100 mg/kg, i.p.) on the tail-flick response evoked by radiant heat stimulation in mice. Results In healthy subjects, NAC treatment left thermal-pain thresholds unchanged, but significantly reduced pain ratings to laser stimuli and amplitudes of laser-evoked potentials. NAC induced significantly greater changes in these measures than placebo. In the tail-flick test, NAC strongly reduced the nocifensive reflex response to radiant heat. The action of NAC was abolished by the preferential mGlu2/3 receptor antagonist, LY341495 (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Conclusions Our findings show for the first time that NAC inhibits nociceptive transmission in humans, and does the same in mice by activating mGlu2/3 receptors. These data lay the groundwork for investigating the therapeutic potential of NAC in patients with chronic pain.
    Keywords: N-Acetylcystene ; Neuropathic Pain ; Mglu2 Receptor ; Laser Evoked Potentials ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 23 November 2011, Vol.7
    Description: Background: Kisspeptin is a neuropeptide known for its role in the hypothalamic regulation of the reproductive axis. Following the recent description of kisspeptin and its 7-TM receptor, GPR54, in the dorsal root ganglia and dorsal horns of the spinal cord, we examined the role of kisspeptin in the regulation of pain sensitivity in mice. Results: Immunofluorescent staining in the mouse skin showed the presence of GPR54 receptors in PGP9.5-positive sensory fibers. Intraplantar injection of kisspeptin (1 or 3 nmol/5 μl) induced a small nocifensive response in naive mice, and lowered thermal pain threshold in the hot plate test. Both intraplantar and intrathecal (0.5 or 1 nmol/3 μl) injection of kisspeptin caused hyperalgesia in the first and second phases of the formalin test, whereas the GPR54 antagonist, p234 (0.1 or 1 nmol), caused a robust analgesia. Intraplantar injection of kisspeptin combined with formalin enhanced TRPV1 phosphorylation at Ser800 at the injection site, and increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the ipsilateral dorsal horn as compared to naive mice and mice treated with formalin alone. Conclusion: These data demonstrate for the first time that kisspeptin regulates pain sensitivity in rodents and suggest that peripheral GPR54 receptors could be targeted by novel drugs in the treatment of inflammatory pain.
    Keywords: Kisspeptin ; Gpr54 ; Inflammatory Pain ; Nociceptive Sensitization ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, March 2017, Vol.13
    Description: Background L-acetylcarnitine, a drug marketed for the treatment of chronic pain, causes analgesia by epigenetically up-regulating type-2 metabotropic glutamate (mGlu2) receptors in the spinal cord. Because the epigenetic mechanisms are typically long-lasting, we hypothesized that analgesia could outlast the duration of L-acetylcarnitine treatment in models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Results A seven-day treatment with L-acetylcarnitine (100 mg/kg, once a day, i.p.) produced an antiallodynic effect in the complete Freund adjuvant mouse model of chronic inflammatory pain. L-Acetylcarnitine-induced analgesia persisted for at least 14 days after drug withdrawal. In contrast, the analgesic effect of pregabalin, amitryptiline, ceftriaxone, and N-acetylcysteine disappeared seven days after drug withdrawal. L-acetylcarnitine treatment enhanced mGlu2/3 receptor protein levels in the dorsal region of the spinal cord. This effect also persisted for two weeks after drug withdrawal and was associated with increased levels of acetylated histone H3 bound to the Grm2 gene promoter in the dorsal root ganglia. A long-lasting analgesic effect of L-acetylcarnitine was also observed in mice subjected to chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. In these animals, a 14-day treatment with pregabalin, amitryptiline, tramadol, or L-acetylcarnitine produced a significant antiallodynic effect, with pregabalin displaying the greatest efficacy. In mice treated with pregabalin, tramadol or L-acetylcarnitine the analgesic effect was still visible 15 days after the end of drug treatment. However, only in mice treated with L-acetylcarnitine analgesia persisted 37 days after drug withdrawal. This effect was associated with an increase in mGlu2/3 receptor protein levels in the dorsal horns of the spinal cord. Conclusions Our findings suggest that L-acetylcarnitine has the unique property to cause a long-lasting analgesic effect that might reduce relapses in patients suffering from chronic pain.
    Keywords: Pain ; L-Acetylcarnitine ; Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors ; Long-Lasting Analgesia ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, October 2018, Vol.14
    Description: Vortioxetine is a multimodal antidepressant that potently antagonizes 5-HT3 serotonin receptors, inhibits the high-affinity serotonin transporter, activates 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors, and antagonizes 5-HT1D and 5-HT7 receptors. 5-HT3 receptors largely mediate the hyperalgesic activity of serotonin that occurs in response to nerve injury. Activation of 5-HT3 receptors contributes to explain why selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine, are not indicated in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Here, we studied the analgesic action of vortioxetine in the chronic constriction injury model of neuropathic pain in mice. Vortioxetine was injected once a day for 27 days at doses (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) that determine 〉90% 5-HT3 receptor occupancy in the central nervous system. The action of vortioxetine was compared to the action of equal doses of the serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, venlafaxine (one of the gold standard drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain), and fluoxetine. Vortioxetine caused a robust analgesia in chronic constriction injury mice, and its effect was identical to that produced by venlafaxine. In contrast, fluoxetine was inactive in chronic constriction injury mice. Vortioxetine enhanced mechanical pain thresholds in chronic constriction injury mice without changing motor activity, as assessed by the open-field and horizontal bar tests. None of the three antidepressants caused analgesia in the complete Freund’s adjuvant model of chronic inflammatory pain. These findings raise the attractive possibility that vortioxetine can be effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain, particularly in patients with comorbid depression and cognitive dysfunction.
    Keywords: Vortioxetine ; Neuropathic Pain ; Inflammatory Pain ; Fluoxetine ; Venlafaxine ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 8
    In: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 2010, Vol.31(4), p.1107
    Description: We examined the influence of type 4 metabotropic glutamate (mGlu4) receptors on ischemic brain damage using the permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model in mice and the endothelin-1 (Et-1) model of transient focal ischemia in rats. Mice lacking mGlu4 receptors showed a 25% to 30% increase in infarct volume after MCAO as compared with wild-type littermates. In normal mice, systemic injection of the selective mGlu4 receptor enhancer, N-phenyl-7-(hydroxyimino)cyclopropa[b]chromen-1a-caboxamide (PHCCC; 10  mg/kg, subcutaneous, administered once 30  minutes before MCAO), reduced the extent of ischemic brain damage by 35% to 45%. The drug was inactive in mGlu4 receptor knockout mice. In the Et-1 model, PHCCC administered only once 20  minutes after ischemia reduced the infarct volume to a larger extent in the caudate/putamen than in the cerebral cortex. Ischemic rats treated with PHCCC showed a faster recovery of neuronal function, as shown by electrocorticographic recording and by a battery of specific tests, which assess sensorimotor deficits. These data indicate that activation of mGlu4 receptors limit the development of brain damage after permanent or transient focal ischemia. These findings are promising because selective mGlu4 receptor enhancers are under clinical development for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other central nervous system disorders.
    Keywords: Chemistry ; Anatomy & Physiology;
    ISSN: 0271-678X
    E-ISSN: 15597016
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Molecular Pain, 09 June 2006, Vol.2
    Description: L-acetylcarnitine (LAC), a drug utilized for the treatment of neuropathic pain in humans, has been shown to induce analgesia in rodents by up-regulating the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGlu2) in dorsal root ganglia (DRG). We now report that LAC-induced upregulation of mGlu2 expression in DRG cultures involves transcriptional activation mediated by nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB). A single application of LAC (250 μM) to DRG cultures induced a transient increase in mGlu2 mRNA, which was observable after 1 hour and was no longer detectable after 1 to 4 days. In contrast, LAC treatment had no effect on mGlu3 mRNA expression. Pharmacological inhibition of NF-κB binding to DNA by caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) (2.5 μg/ml for 30 minutes) reduced the constitutive expression of mGlu2 and mGlu3 mRNA after 1–4 days and reduced the constitutive expression of mGlu2/3 protein at 4 days. This evidence combined with the expression of p65/RelA and c-Rel in DRG neurons indicated that expression of mGlu2 and mGlu3 is endogenously regulated by the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Consistent with this idea, the transient increase in mGlu2 mRNA induced by LAC after 1 hour was completely suppressed by CAPE. Furthermore, LAC induced an increase in the acetylation of p65/RelA, a process that enhances the transcriptional activity of p65/RelA. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that LAC selectively induces the expression of mGlu2 by acting as a donor of acetyl groups, thus enhancing the activity of the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Accordingly, we show that carnitine, which has no effect on pain thresholds, had no effect on p65/RelA acetylation and did not enhance mGlu2 expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate that expression of mGlu2 and mGlu3 mRNA is regulated by the NF-κB transcriptional machinery, and that agents that increase acetylation and activation of NF-κB transcription factors might induce analgesia via upregulation of mGlu2 in DRG neurons.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 1744-8069
    E-ISSN: 1744-8069
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, July 1992, Vol.12(4), pp.638-645
    Description: Ubiquinone is an endogenous quinone with pharmacological actions mainly related to its antioxidant properties. Here we report that ubiquinone protects cultured cerebellar granule cells against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. In control cultures at 9 days of maturation in vitro (DIV), a 30-min exposure to 100 μM glutamate induced neuronal degeneration, as reflected by the great percentage (〉90%) of cells labeled with propidium iodide 24 h after the exposure. Glutamate-induced neuronal death was dramatically reduced in cultures treated daily with ubiquinone since the second DIV. In these cultures, glutamate failed to induce a “delayed” increase in the influx of 45Ca2+, an established parameter of excitotoxicity. Similarly, repeated addition of ubiquinone attenuated in a concentration-dependent manner the age-dependent degeneration of granule cells that is due to the toxic action of the endogenous glutamate progressively released into the medium. These results suggest that ubiquinone may be a useful drug in the therapy of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases related to hyperactivity of excitatory amino acid neurotransmission.
    Keywords: Ubiquinone ; Glutamate ; Cerebellar Neurons ; Neurotoxicity ; Chemistry ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0271-678X
    E-ISSN: 1559-7016
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