New Insight into Inflammation and Pain Could Prompt New Drugs

A theory on inflammation and pain may lead the way for the creation of new kinds of painkillers, according to research from the University of Leeds.

A recent study on inflammation and pain may lead the way for the creation of new kinds of painkillers, according to the scientists at the University of Leeds.

Journal of Clinical Investigation,

The study, published in the focuses on the discovery of two proteins that are significantly involved in the way pain is felt. The results offer valuable information for new drug development.

Existing pain killers are non-specific and are designed to dull the reception of the signals in the central nervous system. The study results provide more details into the inflammation and pain process. Researchers intended to better understand where pain originates from so that more targeted drugs can be developed with fewer side effects to the CNS.

The team discovered a substance released at sites of inflammation called bradykinin. The substance manipulates two proteins commonly found at the damage-sensing terminals of peripheral nerve cells. The proteins cause the nerve cells to send electrical pain signals to the brain.

For the first time, researchers were able to observe the role that one of the two proteins, Ano1 chloride channel, plays in pain transmission. M-type potassium channel, the other protein, was known to be linked to neuronal activity before the study but not to inflammatory pain as the study demonstrated.

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