Scientists open the door to the development of better analgesics for treating joint pain

December 19, 2017, University of Granada
UGR researchers that carried out the study. From left to right: Gloria Perazzoli, Ángeles Montilla García, Enrique J Cobos del Moral, José Manuel Entrena Fernández and Miguel Ángel Tejada Giráldez. Credit: University of Granada

Researchers from the University of Granada have led a novel study in mice which shows that neurons mediating joint pain are different from those mediating cutaneous pain

Functional alterations in patients with arthritis negatively affect their quality of life, making daily tasks difficult, tasks that seem simple to a healthy person (such as opening a bottle, holding a cup or toothbrush, reading the newspaper or cutting a piece of bread with a knife).

This decrease in the physical function of arthritic patients can be quantified in rheumatology consultations by measuring the of the affected limb. The decrease in strength is directly proportional to both the progression of the disease and the suffered by the patient, since both are intimately related.

For the development of new analgesics it is necessary to use animal models that resemble the patient's situation as much as possible. However, despite the clinical importance of grip strength, this parameter is rarely used in preclinical research (that is, in animal experiments). However, the predominant experimental paradigm in rodent research is based on our knowledge of cutaneous pain, which occurs when the skin receives a sensory stimulus.

Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) belonging to the Department of Pharmacology and to the Institute of Neuroscience (Biomedical Research Center of Granada) have led a study in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Esteve and the Teófilo Hernando Institute for Drug Discovery (Spain). This study shows that grip in mice with arthritis can be used for the evaluation of analgesics, and that mediating joint pain are different from those mediating cutaneous pain. Therefore, drugs that produce analgesia in cutaneous pain do not necessarily have to produce it in joint pain.

"Further studies of this type could lead to the development of better analgesics, specifically aimed at relieving ," says Enrique J. Cobos del Moral, director of this work and researcher at the Department of Pharmacology and the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Granada.

Explore further: Drug that strengthens analgesic effect of opioids without increasing constipation tested

More information: Ángeles Montilla-García et al. Grip strength in mice with joint inflammation: A rheumatology function test sensitive to pain and analgesia, Neuropharmacology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.07.029

Related Stories

Drug that strengthens analgesic effect of opioids without increasing constipation tested

March 28, 2014
Scientists from the University of Granada have taken part, alongside the Esteve laboratory, in the development of a new drug that multiplies the analgesic effect of opioids (drugs for treating intense pain), without increasing ...

New pain treatment tested in humans

November 27, 2017
Nerve growth factor signals through receptors of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family, and research in animals has shown that inhibitors of Trks A, B, and C can reduce pain. Now a new study in the British Journal of ...

New hope for osteoarthritis patients suffering severe pain in hands

November 13, 2017
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent arthritis worldwide and is characterised by chronic pain and impaired physical function.

Number of Americans with severe joint pain keeps rising

October 7, 2016
(HealthDay)—Severe joint pain plagues an increasing number of aging, often arthritic Americans, a new report finds.

New research reveals most pain-sensing nerves in the body specialized to respond to specific sensations

November 11, 2016
Many pain-sensing nerves in the body are thought to respond to all types of 'painful events', but new UCL research in mice reveals that in fact most are specialised to respond to specific types such as heat, cold or mechanical ...

Musculoskeletal symptoms predict psoriatic arthritis

March 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—For patients with psoriasis, nonspecific musculoskeletal symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue, and stiffness, predict the development of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), according to a study published in the March ...

Recommended for you

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.