Managing pain is a daily task for many people. Because they change the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain, opioids are a commonly prescribed treatment. Unfortunately, opioids are highly addictive and often result in either prescription drug abuse or serve as a gateway to other drugs, such as heroin.1 Opioid overdose kills over 90 people a day in the United States and the problem is spreading worldwide. Given such issues, there is an increased urgency to find pain therapies that do not result in addiction. Opioids share a familiar N-terminal sequence which is known as the opioid motif, Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-(Met or Leu).2,3 The following are just some of the products that Peptides International carries for pain research:
- Nociceptin, or Orphanin FQ, is a peptide comprised of 17 amino acids that is an agonist of the Opioid Receptor-Like-1 (ORL1) receptor and nociception is a nervous system response to pain or other harmful stimuli. Due to a lack of an N-terminal tyrosine, Nociceptin cannot act on classical opioid receptors, so the Nociceptin system opens potassium channels resulting in membrane hyperpolarization. When given nociception, rats experience either pronociceptive or antinociceptive effects, depending upon the dose.4
- Dynorphin, β-endorphin, and the enkephalins activate opioid receptors.
- The tachykinins, including Neurokinin and Substance P, are active in pain response.
- The voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.7, is critical to pain sensation in mammals, as a result, blocking ion channels can help alleviate pain.5 We carry a large selection of ion channel blockers and toxins and our Peptide Toxins and Channel Blockers brochure can be found here.
- The amino acids, Glutamate and aspartate, are considered brain excitatory neurotransmitters.
- Oxytocin can play a role in treating addiction.6
Read more about pain from our archives: Insensitivity to pain induced by a potent selective closed-state Nav1.7 inhibitor
- N.D. Volkow & F.S. Collins, N Engl J Med, 377(4), 391 (2017).
- J.Mika, et al., Neuropeptides, 45, 247 (2011). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143417911000229
- B. Halford, C&E News, 95(5), 40 (2017).
- M.T. Bowen & I.D. Neumann, Trends in Neurosciences, 40(12), 691 (2017).
- E.C. Emery et al., Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 20(8), 975 (2016).
The entire archive of Peptides International Product Spotlights are available here. The topics range from some of the most popular items we have available to those lesser known ones that still have compelling research applications. They often are chosen due to recently published articles that feature them. They are permanently posted here, so read at your leisure!