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Sigma-1 Receptor and Pain.

Sigma-1 Receptor and Pain.
Author Information (click to view)

Merlos M, Romero L, Zamanillo D, Plata-Salamán C, Vela JM,


Merlos M, Romero L, Zamanillo D, Plata-Salamán C, Vela JM, (click to view)

Merlos M, Romero L, Zamanillo D, Plata-Salamán C, Vela JM,

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Handbook of experimental pharmacology 2017 03 09() doi 10.1007/164_2017_9
Abstract

There is a critical need for new analgesics acting through new mechanisms of action, which could increase the efficacy respect to existing therapies and/or reduce their unwanted effects. Current preclinical evidence supports the modulatory role of the sigma-1 receptor (σ1R) in nociception, mainly based on the pain-attenuated phenotype of σ1R knockout mice and on the antinociceptive effect exerted by σ1R antagonists on pain of different etiology, very consistently in neuropathic pain, but also in nociceptive, inflammatory, and visceral pain. σ1R is highly expressed in different pain areas of the CNS and the periphery, particularly dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and interacts and modulates the functionality of different receptors and ion channels. Accordingly, antinociceptive effects of σ1R antagonists both acting alone and in combination with other analgesics have been reported at both central and peripheral sites. At the central level, behavioral, electrophysiological, neurochemical, and molecular findings support a role for σ1R antagonists in inhibiting augmented excitability secondary to sustained afferent input. Moreover, the involvement of σ1R in mechanisms regulating pain at the periphery has been recently confirmed. Unlike opioids, σ1R antagonists do not modify normal sensory mechanical and thermal sensitivity thresholds but they exert antihypersensitivity effects (antihyperalgesic and antiallodynic) in sensitizing conditions, enabling the reversal of nociceptive thresholds back to normal values. These are distinctive features allowing σ1R antagonists to exert a modulatory effect specifically in pathophysiological conditions such as chronic pain.

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