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[Research] New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists

Scientists observe drug target that can reduce pain when activated

A research group at Hiroshima University observed a potential new target for chronic pain treatment. Further research using this receptor could lead to new, more effective drugs to use in pain-relieving treatment for chronic pain.


Normal pain transmission triggers signaling modules to cause a sensation of pain. In chronic pain, activated astrocytes cause an increase in production of these signaling molecules, which leads to more intense or longer-lasting pain. The main finding of the study shows that simulating REV-ERBs in spinal cord astrocytes with an agonist leads to pain relief. (Diagram by Professor Morioka)

Full bibliographic information

  • Journal: Brain Behavior and Immunity, 2019, Impact factor=6.306
  • Title: Stimulation of nuclear receptor REV-ERBs suppresses production of pronociceptive molecules in cultured spinal astrocytes and ameliorates mechanical hypersensitivity of inflammatory and neuropathic pain of mice.
  • Authors: Norimitsu Morioka*, Keitaro Kodama, Mizuki Tomori, Kanade Yoshikawa, Munenori Saeki, Yoki Nakamura, Fang Fang Zhang, Kazue Hisaoka-Nakashima and Yoshihiro Nakata
    * Corresponding author
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.01.014​
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