Sunday, May 23, 2010

Raf-1- selective siRNA and Response to Pain

I've reported Researchers' success in knocking down in vivo DOR, hTERT, The β3 subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase, rSNSR1, NTS1. NAV1.8 and more using Neuromics' i-FectTM siRNA transfection reagent .

I am pleased to add Raf-1 to this growing list. Here's a recent publication by Dr. EV Varga, University of Arizona:

S Tumati, WR Roeske, T Largent-Milnes, R Wang, TW Vanderah and EV Varga. Sustained morphine-mediated pain sensitization and antinociceptive tolerance are blocked by intrathecal treatment with Raf-1- selective siRNA. This is an Accepted Article that has been peer-reviewed and approved for publication in the British Journal of Pharmacology, but has yet to undergo copy-editing and proof correction. Please cite this article as an "Accepted Article"; doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00869.x.

Background and purpose: Long-term morphine treatment enhances pain neurotransmitter (such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)) levels in the spinal cord. It has been suggested previously that increased spinal CGRP may contribute to sustained morphine-mediated paradoxical pain sensitization and antinociceptive tolerance. Previous in vitro studies from our group indicated that Raf-1 kinase-mediated adenylyl cyclase superactivation played a crucial role in sustained morphine-mediated augmentation of basal and evoked CGRP release from cultured primary sensory neurons. The present study was aimed to evaluate the physiological significance of this molecular mechanism in vivo, in rats.

Experimental approach: Rats were intrathecally ( injected with a Raf-1- selective small interfering RNA (siRNA) mixture for 3 days, and were subsequently infused with saline or morphine, s.c. for seven days. Thermal and mechanical sensory thresholds of the animals were assessed by daily behavioural tests. After final behavioural testing (day 6), spinal cords were isolated from each animal group and spinal CGRP and Raf-1 protein levels were measured using ELISA and immunohistochemistry.

Key results: Selective knockdown of spinal Raf-1 protein levels by Raf-1- selective siRNA pre-treatment significantly attenuated sustained morphine-mediated upregulation of CGRP immunoreactivity in the spinal cord of rats and prevented the development of thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical allodynia and antinociceptive tolerance.

Conclusions and implications: Raf-1 played a significant role in sustained morphine-mediated paradoxical pain sensitization and antinociceptive tolerance in vivo. These findings suggest novel pharmacological approaches to improve the long-term utility of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain.

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