A novel P2X4 receptor-selective antagonist produces anti-allodynic effect in a mouse model of herpetic pain

Yuta Matsumura, Tomohiro Yamashita, Atsushi Sasaki, Eriko Nakata, Keita Kohno, Takahiro Masuda, Hidetoshi Tozaki-Saitoh, Toshiyasu Imai, Yasushi Kuraishi, Makoto Tsuda, Kazuhide Inoue

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99 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulating evidence indicates that purinergic P2X4 receptors (P2X4R: cation channels activated by extracellular ATP) expressed in spinal microglia are crucial for pathological chronic pain caused by nerve damage, suggesting a potential target for drug discovery. We identified NP-1815-PX (5-[3-(5-thioxo-4H-[1,2,4]oxadiazol-3-yl)phenyl]-1H-naphtho[1, 2-b][1,4]diazepine-2,4(3H,5H)-dione) as a novel antagonist selective for P2X4R with high potency and selectivity compared with other P2XR subtypes. In in vivo assay for acute and chronic pain, intrathecal administration of NP-1815-PX produced an anti-allodynic effect in mice with traumatic nerve damage without affecting acute nociceptive pain and motor function (although its oral administration did not produce the effect). Furthermore, in a mouse model of herpetic pain, P2X4R upregulation in the spinal cord exclusively occurred in microglia, and intrathecal NP-1815-PX suppressed induction of mechanical allodynia. This model also showed K+/Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2) downregulation, which is implicated in dorsal horn neuron hyperexcitability; this downregulation was restored by intrathecal treatment with NP-1815-PX or by interfering with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling, a P2X4R-activated microglial factor implicated in KCC2 downregulation. Taken together, the newly developed P2X4R antagonist NP-1815-PX produces anti-allodynic effects in chronic pain models without altering acute pain sensitivity, suggesting that microglial P2X4R could be an attractive target for treating chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32461
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - Aug 31 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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