Treating gut pain via a Nobel Prize-winning receptor – Zoo House News

Treating gut pain via a Nobel Prize-winning receptor – Zoo House News

  • Science
  • January 2, 2023
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Targeting a receptor responsible for our sense of touch and temperature, which researchers have now found to be present in our colon, could offer a new avenue to treat chronic pain associated with gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome open.

A team examining the colon, led by Washington University Professor Hongzhen Hu and Flinders University Professor Nick Spencer, identified the presence of Piezo2, the subject of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which is now known to that he is responsible for the perception of light touches our skin.

“By discovering that this receptor is also found in our gut, there is potential that selective targeting of these channels could be used for long-term suppression of pain sensations from internal organs without the need for frequent opiate painkillers,” says Professor Spencer, a Matthew Flinders Professor at the College of Medicine and Public Health.

Professor Nick Spencer said: “Chronic pain from internal organs such as the bowel or bladder is notoriously difficult to treat. Opiates, including morphine and its derivatives, have been widely used to treat a variety of pain types, but visceral pain does not respond well to treatment and the drugs are highly addictive and have a variety of side effects.”

The authors say that the availability of selective gut painkillers has been hampered by a lack of understanding of how sensory nerves transmit pain sensations from the gut to the brain.

“It was previously known that many different ion channels are found on the ‘pain-sensitive’ neurons that communicate from the gut to the brain, but our study, published in the journal Neuron, has now identified the main ion channel in the colon that responds to mechanical stimulation that leads to pain sensations ‘ says Professor Spencer.

“Moreover, we have discovered that the main ion channel that responds to this mechanical pain is a member of the piezo ion channel, specifically Piezo2.

“With this knowledge, we can focus on targeting these channels to silence the sensations of pain and hopefully develop a treatment for visceral pain common in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis or abdominal cancer, while reducing the devastating side effects of.” Avoid opioids.”

The research was funded by grants from the US National Institutes of Health and the National Health and Medical Research Foundation.

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Materials provided by Flinders University. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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