This week in research: April 5, 2017
April 5, 2017
People do Amazing Things with Our Lipids!
Researchers from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Tokyo, Japan) are studying the role of PAF signaling in neuropathic pain, a chronic pain condition resulting from injury of the peripheral or central nervous systems. PAF, as well as, ATP and lyophosphatidic acid are thought to be central mediators of neuropathic pain. This interesting study finds that PAF may induce or exacerbate neuropathic pain via a positive feedback loop, the so-called “PAF-pain loop”. Essentially, ATP and/or PAF induces PAF production in macrophages. In turn, the PAF produced activates neighboring cells resulting in further increases in PAF production, creating a positive feedback loop that contributes to sustained neuropathic pain. Pain-like behaviors were attenuated by inhibition of PAF biosynthesis and the presence of a PAF receptor agonist. This exciting study not only uncovers new findings regarding the biochemical mechanism of neuropathic pain, but also opens the door for the development of new analgesic drugs for the treatment of neuropathic pain, an important – yet unmet – need.
Avanti’s PAF/PAF analogs & acetyl-CoA substrates provide the perfect tools for continued study of the role of PAF and PAF biosynthesis in neuropathic pain!