Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists as modulators for neuropathic pain

Two scientists of the Northwestern University Chicago discuss the relevance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

They point out that Chronic pain presents still a widespread and intractable medical problem. While numerous pharmaceuticals are used to treat chronic pain, drugs that are safe for extended use and highly effective at treating the most severe pain do not yet exist. It is inflammation caused by neuropathy that is believed to contribute to the generation and maintenance of neuropathic pain.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors known for their roles in metabolism and PPARs also play a role in inflammatory gene repression.

PPAR agonists have wide-ranging effects including inhibition of chemokine expression and pain behavior reduction in animal models.

Experimental evidence suggests a connection between the pain ameliorating effects of PPAR agonists and suppression of inflammatory gene expression, including chemokines.

One PPARα agonist stand out, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and shows promise in relieving chronic pain based on research since 1957. The authors believe PPAR agonists may represent new drug therapies for neuropathic pain.

Freitag CM, Miller RJ.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists modulate neuropathic pain: a link to chemokines?
Front Cell Neurosci. 2014 Aug 20;8:238. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00238. eCollection 2014.

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