• Article

Effects of alpha 7 positive allosteric modulators in murine inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain models

Agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are currently being considered as novel therapeutic approaches for managing cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Though alpha 7 agonists were recently found to possess antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties in rodent models of chronic neuropathic pain and inflammation, the effects of alpha 7 nAChRs PAMs on chronic pain and inflammation remain largely unknown. The present study investigated whether PAMs, by increasing endogenous cholinergic tone, potentiate alpha 7 nAChRs function to attenuate inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain in mice. We tested two types of PAMS, type I (NS1738) and type II (PNU-120596) in carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain and chronic constriction injury (CCI) neuropathic pain models. We found that both NS1738 and PNU-120596 significantly reduced thermal hyperalgesia, while only PNU-120596 significantly reduced edema caused by a hind paw infusion of carrageenan. Importantly, PNU-120596 reversed established thermal hyperalgesia and edema induced by carrageenan. In the CCI model, PNU-120596 had long-lasting (up to 6 h), dose-dependent anti-hyperalgesic and anti-allodynic effects after a single injection, while NS1738 was inactive. Systemic administration of the alpha 7 nAChR antagonist MLA reversed PNU-120596's effects, suggesting the involvement of central and peripheral alpha 7 nAChRs. Furthermore, PNU-120596 enhanced an ineffective dose of selective agonist PHA-543613 to produce anti-allodynic effects in the CCI model. Our results indicate that the type II alpha 7 nAChRs PAM PNU-120596, but not the type I alpha 7 nAChRs PAM NS1738, shows significant anti-edematous and anti-allodynic effects in inflammatory and CCI pain models in mice. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


Freitas, K., Ghosh, S., Carroll, F., Lichtman, AH., & Damaj, MI. (2013). Effects of alpha 7 positive allosteric modulators in murine inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain models. Neuropharmacology, 65, 156-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.08.022