Thursday, September 29, 2011

β-arrestin siRNA Delivery in vivo and Increased Analgesia

I have reported use of our i-FectTM siRNA delivery kit for gene expression analysis studies of Cav1.2, DOR, hTERT, The β3 subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase, rSNSR1, NTS1. NAV1.8, , TRPV1, Survivin, Flaviviruses and more.

I would like to congratulate Dr. C.R. Lin and his team at National Taiwan University College of Medicine for silencing β-arrestin expression in vivo and the impact on opioid based analgesia. The results could be good news for improving opioid based pain therapies: C.-H.Yang, H.-W. Huang, K.-H.Chen, Y.-S.Chen, S.-M.Sheen-Chen and C.-R.Lin. Antinociceptive potentiation and attenuation of tolerance by intrathecal β-arrestin 2 small interfering RNA in rats. Br. J. Anaesth. (2011) doi: 10.1093/bja/aer291.

Background: Tolerance to the analgesic effect of opioids complicates the management of persistent pain states. We tested whether the intrathecal infusion of small interfering RNA (siRNA) against β-arrestin 2 would reduce tolerance to chronic morphine use and the severity of precipitated morphine withdrawal.

Methods: Intrathecal β-arrestin 2 (2 μg siRNA per 10 μl per rat) was injected once daily for 3 days. Rats then received a continuous intrathecal infusion of morphine (2 nmol h−1) or saline for 7 days. Daily tail-flick (TF) and intrathecal morphine challenge tests were performed to assess the effect of intrathecal β-arrestin 2 siRNA on antinociception and tolerance to morphine. Naloxone withdrawal (2 mg kg−1) was performed to assess morphine dependence.
Results: In the daily TF test, the antinociception of intrathecal morphine was increased and maintained in rats receiving β-arrestin 2 siRNA compared with the control group (morphine alone). In the probe response test, rats receiving morphine infusion with β-arrestin 2 siRNA treatment showed a significant left shift in their dose–response curve, as measured by per cent maximal possible effect (MPE), such that the AD50 was significantly decreased by a factor of 5.6 when compared with that of morphine-infused rats. In the naloxone-induced withdrawal tests, rats receiving β-arrestin 2 siRNA injection with morphine infusion showed a significant reduction in four of the six signs of withdrawal.
Conclusions: We show here that intrathecal β-arrestin 2 siRNA in rats enhances analgesia and attenuates naloxone-induced withdrawal symptoms. This may warrant further investigation in the context of long-term use of intrathecal opioids for controlling chronic pain.

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