In view of postsynaptic density 95kDA (PSD95) tethers neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) to N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), the PSD95-nNOS complex represents a therapeutic target of neuropathic pain. This study therefore sought to explore the ability of PCC-0105002, a novel PSD95-nNOS small molecule inhibitor, to alter pain sensitivity in rodent neuropathic pain models. Firstly, the IC of PCC-0105002 for PSD95 and NOS1 binding activity was determined using an Alpha Screen assay kit. Then, we examined the effects of PCC-0105002 in the mouse formalin test and in the rat spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model, and explored the ability of PCC-0105002 to mediate analgesia and to effect motor coordination in a rota-rod test. Moreover, the mechanisms whereby PCC-0105002 mediates analgesia was explored via western blotting, Golgi staining, and co-immunoprecipitation experiments in dorsal horn. The outcomes indicated that PCC-0105002 exhibited dose-dependent attenuation of phase II pain-associated behaviors in the formalin test. The result indicated that PCC-0105002 disrupted the PSD95-nNOS interaction with IC of 1.408 μM. In the SNL model, PCC-0105002 suppressed mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia, and abnormal dorsal horn wide dynamic range neuron discharge. PCC-0105002 mediated an analgesic effect comparable to that of MK-801, while it was better able to enhance motor coordination as compared with MK-801. Moreover, PCC-0105002 altered signaling downstream of NMDAR and thus functionally and structurally attenuating synaptic plasticity through respective regulation of the NR2B/GluR1/CaMKIIα and Rac1/RhoA pathways. These findings suggest that the novel PSD95-nNOS inhibitor PCC-0105002 is an effective agent for alleviating neuropathic pain, and that it produces fewer motor coordination-associated side effects than do NMDAR antagonists.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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