Alpha9Alpha10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Target for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

ISSN: 1873-4286 (Online)
ISSN: 1381-6128 (Print)

Volume 21, 42 Issues, 2015

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Alpha9Alpha10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Target for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Current Pharmaceutical Design, 20(38): 6042-6047.

Author(s): Alessandra Del Bufalo, Alfredo Cesario, Gianluca Salinaro, Massimo Fini and Patrizia Russo.

Affiliation: Laboratory of Systems Approaches and Non Communicable Diseases, IRCCS "San Raffaele Pisana", Via di Valcannuta, 247, I-00166 Roma, Italia.


Chronic pain is a widespread healthcare problem affecting not only the patient but in many ways all the society. Chronic pain is a disease itself that endures for a long period of time and it is resistant to the majority of medical treatments that provide modest improvements in pain and minimum improvements in physical and emotional functioning. More co-existing chronic pain conditions may be present in the same individual (patient). The α 9α 10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) may be a potential target in the pathophysiology of chronic pain, as well in the development of breast and lung cancers. α-conotoxins (α-CNT) are small peptides used offensively by carnivorous marine snails known as Conus that target nAChR. Among α-CNT there are potent and selective antagonists of α 9α 10 nAChR such as RgIA and Vc1.1 that produces both acute and long lasting analgesia. Moreover, these peptides accelerate the recovery of nerve function after injury, likely through immune/inflammatory-mediated mechanisms. We review the background, findings, implications and problems in using compounds that act on α 9α 10 nAChR.


Chronic pain, α 9α 10 nAChR, α -conotoxins, pathophysiology, RgIA, Vc11.

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Article Details

Volume: 20
Issue Number: 38
First Page: 6042
Last Page: 6047
Page Count: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1381612820666140314150634

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