Pain promoter also acts as pain reliever | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Pain promoter also acts as pain reliever

Experiments with rodent cells reveal dual role for pain-sensing protein

By
4:09pm, January 11, 2017
man in pain

PAIN GAIN  A protein that detects pain also triggers production of pain-soothing opioids, new experiments with rodent cells reveal.

A protein that sounds the alarm when the body encounters something painful also helps put out the fire.

Called Nav1.7, the protein sits on pain-sensing nerves and has long been known for sending a red alert to the brain when the body has a brush with pain. Now, experiments in rodent cells reveal another role for Nav1.7: Its activity triggers the production of pain-relieving molecules. The study, published online January 10 in Science Signaling, suggests a new approach to pain management that takes advantage of this protein’s dual role.

“This is very interesting research,” says neuroscientist Munmun Chattopadhyay of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. The findings suggest that when opiates are given for certain kinds of pain relief, also targeting Nav1.7 might lessen the need for those pain relievers, Chattopadhyay says. That could reduce opiate use

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content