Researchers Target Pathway to Improve Inflammatory Pain

Prior studies have found that Rac1 is a molecule that maintains chronic neuropathic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system.

Recent research may eventually help patients suffering from chronic inflammatory pain.

Prior studies have found that Rac1 is a molecule that maintains chronic neuropathic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system.

Researchers conducted a study at the Fourth Military Medical University in China to find out if Rac1 plays a part in chronic inflammatory pain caused by conditions such as trauma, arthritis, tissue injury.

"We found that Rac1 can be activated in chronic inflammatory pain and drugs that curb this reaction can relieve pain, offering the promise of new drugs for pain treatment in the clinic," said Jun Chen, MD, PhD.

For the study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers injected bee venom into rat’s paws in order to cause inflammation. They found that Rac1 was activated and set off an array of reactions involved with pain perception.

When given the molecule NSC23766, which inhibits Rac1, before or after the injection of venom researchers found that it reduced pain hypersensitivity and paw flinches.