A research team from UC Davis School of Medicine have announced their discovery of a new compound that appears to inhibit the production of a chemical associated with the development of chronic pain following spinal cord injuries. The findings are published in Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. The compound, a molecule named 6-chloro-8-(glycinyl)-amino-β-carbolin, or 8-Gly carb, was found to be 43 times more effective in inhibiting the production of nitrous oxide than is the current reference compound known to exhibit this action. Nitrous oxide is believed to be a key factor in initiating and sustaining inflammation associated with the establishment of neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain can develop following nerve damage resulting from conditions such as shingles, injury, amputation, autoimmune inflammation, and cancer. Months or even years after the initial trauma, the area can remain extremely painful, a condition believed to result from the brain misinterpreting nerve signals from the area. Traditional pain treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and even opioids is usually ineffective. Referencing the findings, coprincipal investigator Fredric Gorin, MD, PhD, stated: “A compound like 8-Gly carb that selectively targets nitrous oxide production and does not block cytokine expression makes a promising candidate for drug development aimed at preventing a neuropathic pain syndrome without interfering with recovery. We look forward to extending this research by developing and testing this compound and related ones in the laboratory and eventually in clinical trials.”
Read a press release on the findings from UC Davis, with link to the journal, here.