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Pharmacological kynurenine 3-monooxygenase enzyme inhibition significantly reduces neuropathic pain in a rat model.

Rojewska E., Piotrowska A., Makuch W., Przewlocka B., Mika J.

Recent studies have highlighted the involvement of the kynurenine pathway in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases, but the role of this system in neuropathic pain requires further extensive research. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the role of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (Kmo), an enzyme that is important in this pathway, in a rat model of neuropathy after chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve. For the first time, we demonstrated that the injury-induced increase in the Kmo mRNA levels in the spinal cord and the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) was reduced by chronic administration of the microglial inhibitor minocycline and that this effect paralleled a decrease in the intensity of neuropathy. Further, minocycline administration alleviated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced upregulation of Kmo mRNA expression in microglial cell cultures. Moreover, we demonstrated that not only indirect inhibition of Kmo using minocycline but also direct inhibition using Kmo inhibitors (Ro61-6048 and JM6) decreased neuropathic pain intensity on the third and the seventh days after CCI. Chronic Ro61-6048 administration diminished the protein levels of IBA-1, IL-6, IL-1beta and NOS2 in the spinal cord and/or the DRG. Both Kmo inhibitors potentiated the analgesic properties of morphine. In summary, our data suggest that in neuropathic pain model, inhibiting Kmo function significantly reduces pain symptoms and enhances the effectiveness of morphine. The results of our studies show that the kynurenine pathway is an important mediator of neuropathic pain pathology and indicate that Kmo represents a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of neuropathy.

Neuropharmacology 102:80-91(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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