NEUROKININ 1 RECEPTORS AND THEIR ROLE IN OPIOID-INDUCED HYPERALGESIA, ANTINOCICEPTIVE TOLERANCE AND REWARD
AuthorLargent- Milnes, Tally Marie
Committee ChairVanderah, Todd W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPain is the most common and debilitating sign of a medical problem, with nearly 15 million patients suffering from chronic pain, including neuropathic pain. Widely used therapies for treating neuropathic pain include tri-cyclic antidepressants, opioids, anticonvulsants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and combinations thereof. Despite the abundance of treatments, the management of chronic pain remains difficult due to an inability for many patients to achieve appropriate pain relief at doses which are tolerable over long periods of time.Opiates (natural products), or opioids (synthetic derivatives), are considered the gold standard of analgesic care, though with little efficacy for neuropathic pain. Opioids are associated with unwanted side effects, including paradoxical pain and abuse liability that may result from several nervous system adaptations within the pain modulating neural network. These dose related side effects become more prevalent as clinicians try to overcome analgesic tolerance.Molecular mechanisms underlying these unwanted side effects have been studied extensively, and the literature purports a variety of contributing factors and neurobiological adaptations. The studies herein describe additional molecular adaptations and novel pharmacological approaches to counteract these changes. First, the contributions of neurobiological remodeling within a single receptor system (the opioid system) were investigated in the spinal dorsal horn after peripheral nerve ligation and chronic exposure to an opioid agonist in combination with an ultra-low-dose of opioid antagonist. The effects of the ultra-low-dose opioid antagonist naltrexone on the efficacy of oxycodone for neuropathic pain were investigated after both central and systemic administration.Secondly, molecular remodeling occurs across different receptor systems in the pain network, including altered regulation of pronociceptive molecules (e.g. substance P; SP). Previous studies have reported that opioid-induced hyperalgesia, tolerance and reward can be prevented by a blockade or ablation of SP activity at the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1). We have characterized single compounds, rationally designed to act as opioid agonists and an NK1 antagonist using in vitro assays and the efficacy in vivo using rodent models of pain, antinociceptive tolerance and reward. Collectively, these studies validate the concept of targeting multiple neurobiological adaptations as a therapeutic option for neuropathic pain and reducing opioid- mediated side effects.
Degree ProgramMedical Pharmacology