Publications by authors named "Michelle Wennerholm"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Heteroarylureas with fused bicyclic diamine cores as inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2020 10 9;30(20):127463. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of mechanism-based heteroaryl urea fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors with fused bicyclic diamine cores is described. In contrast to compounds built around a piperazine core, most of the fused bicyclic diamine bearing analogs prepared exhibited greater potency against rFAAH than the human enzyme. Several compounds equipotent against both species were identified and profiled in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127463DOI Listing
October 2020

Pharmacologic Characterization of JNJ-42226314, [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone, a Reversible, Selective, and Potent Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitor.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2020 03 9;372(3):339-353. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California.

The serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for the degradation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) into arachidonic acid and glycerol. Inhibition of 2-AG degradation leads to elevation of 2-AG, the most abundant endogenous agonist of the cannabinoid receptors (CBs) CB1 and CB2. Activation of these receptors has demonstrated beneficial effects on mood, appetite, pain, and inflammation. Therefore, MAGL inhibitors have the potential to produce therapeutic effects in a vast array of complex human diseases. The present report describes the pharmacologic characterization of [1-(4-fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone (JNJ-42226314), a reversible and highly selective MAGL inhibitor. JNJ-42226314 inhibits MAGL in a competitive mode with respect to the 2-AG substrate. In rodent brain, the compound time- and dose-dependently bound to MAGL, indirectly led to CB1 occupancy by raising 2-AG levels, and raised norepinephrine levels in cortex. In vivo, the compound exhibited antinociceptive efficacy in both the rat complete Freund's adjuvant-induced radiant heat hypersensitivity and chronic constriction injury-induced cold hypersensitivity models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, respectively. Though 30 mg/kg induced hippocampal synaptic depression, altered sleep onset, and decreased electroencephalogram gamma power, 3 mg/kg still provided approximately 80% enzyme occupancy, significantly increased 2-AG and norepinephrine levels, and produced neuropathic antinociception without synaptic depression or decreased gamma power. Thus, it is anticipated that the profile exhibited by this compound will allow for precise modulation of 2-AG levels in vivo, supporting potential therapeutic application in several central nervous system disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Potentiation of endocannabinoid signaling activity via inhibition of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is an appealing strategy in the development of treatments for several disorders, including ones related to mood, pain, and inflammation. [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone is presented in this report to be a novel, potent, selective, and reversible noncovalent MAGL inhibitor that demonstrates dose-dependent enhancement of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol as well as efficacy in models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.119.262139DOI Listing
March 2020

Mutagenesis of GPR139 reveals ways to create gain or loss of function receptors.

Pharmacol Res Perspect 2019 02 7;7(1):e00466. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC San Diego California.

GPR139 is a Gq-coupled receptor activated by the essential amino acids L-tryptophan (L-Trp) and L-phenylalanine (L-Phe). We carried out mutagenesis studies of the human GPR139 receptor to identify the critical structural motifs required for GPR139 activation. We applied site-directed and high throughput random mutagenesis approaches using a double addition normalization strategy to identify novel GPR139 sequences coding receptors that have altered sensitivity to endogenous ligands. This approach resulted in GPR139 clones with gain-of-function, reduction-of-function or loss-of-function mutations. The agonist pharmacology of these mutant receptors was characterized and compared to wild-type receptor using calcium mobilization, radioligand binding, and protein expression assays. The structure-activity data were incorporated into a homology model which highlights that many of the gain-of-function mutations are either in or immediately adjacent to the purported orthosteric ligand binding site, whereas the loss-of-function mutations were largely in the intracellular G-protein binding area or were disrupters of the helix integrity. There were also some reduction-of-function mutations in the orthosteric ligand binding site. These findings may not only facilitate the rational design of novel agonists and antagonists of GPR139, but also may guide the design of transgenic animal models to study the physiological function of GPR139.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prp2.466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6367278PMC
February 2019

Evaluation of JNJ-54717793 a Novel Brain Penetrant Selective Orexin 1 Receptor Antagonist in Two Rat Models of Panic Attack Provocation.

Front Pharmacol 2017 9;8:357. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, IndianapolisIN, United States.

Orexin neurons originating in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamic area are highly reactive to anxiogenic stimuli and have strong projections to anxiety and panic-associated circuitry. Recent studies support a role for the orexin system and in particular the orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) in coordinating an integrative stress response. However, no selective OX1R antagonist has been systematically tested in two preclinical models of using panicogenic stimuli that induce panic attack in the majority of people with panic disorder, namely an acute hypercapnia-panic provocation model and a model involving chronic inhibition of GABA synthesis in the perifornical hypothalamic area followed by intravenous sodium lactate infusion. Here we report on a novel brain penetrant, selective and high affinity OX1R antagonist JNJ-54717793 (1S,2R,4R)-7-([(3-fluoro-2-pyrimidin-2-ylphenyl)carbonyl]--[5-(trifluoromethyl)pyrazin-2-yl]-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-amine). JNJ-54717793 is a high affinity/potent OX1R antagonist and has an excellent selectivity profile including 50 fold versus the OX2R. receptor binding studies demonstrated that after oral administration JNJ-54717793 crossed the blood brain barrier and occupied OX1Rs in the rat brain. While JNJ-54717793 had minimal effect on spontaneous sleep in rats and in wild-type mice, its administration in OX2R knockout mice, selectively promoted rapid eye movement sleep, demonstrating target engagement and specific OX1R blockade. JNJ-54717793 attenuated CO and sodium lactate induced panic-like behaviors and cardiovascular responses without altering baseline locomotor or autonomic activity. These data confirm that selective OX1R antagonism may represent a novel approach of treating anxiety disorders, with no apparent sedative effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465257PMC
June 2017

Selective Inhibition of Orexin-2 Receptors Prevents Stress-Induced ACTH Release in Mice.

Front Behav Neurosci 2017 8;11:83. Epub 2017 May 8.

Department of Neuroscience, Janssen Research and Development, L.L.C.San Diego, CA, USA.

Orexins peptides exert a prominent role in arousal-related processes including stress responding, by activating orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptors located widely throughout the brain. Stress or orexin administration stimulates hyperarousal, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone release, and selective OX1R blockade can attenuate several stress-induced behavioral and cardiovascular responses but not the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. As opposed to OX1R, OX2R are preferentially expressed in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus which is involved in the HPA axis regulation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a psychological stress elicited by cage exchange (CE) on ACTH release in two murine models (genetic and pharmacological) of selective OX2R inhibition. CE-induced stress produced a significant increase in ACTH serum levels. Mice lacking the OX2R exhibited a blunted stress response. Stress-induced ACTH release was absent in mice pre-treated with the selective OX2R antagonist JNJ-42847922 (30 mg/kg po), whereas pre-treatment with the dual OX1/2R antagonist SB-649868 (30 mg/kg po) only partially attenuated the increase of ACTH. To assess whether the intrinsic and distinct sleep-promoting properties of each antagonist could account for the differential stress response, a separate group of mice implanted with electrodes for standard sleep recording were orally dosed with JNJ-42847922 or SB-649868 during the light phase. While both compounds reduced the latency to non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep without affecting its duration, a prevalent REM-sleep promoting effect was observed only in mice treated with the dual OX1/2R antagonist. These data indicate that in a psychological stress model, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of OX2R markedly attenuated stress-induced ACTH secretion, as a separately mediated effect from the NREM sleep induction of OX2R antagonism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5420581PMC
May 2017

The SAR of brain penetration for a series of heteroaryl urea FAAH inhibitors.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2016 07 5;26(13):3109-3114. Epub 2016 May 5.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, L.L.C. 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.

The SAR of brain penetration for a series of heteroaryl piperazinyl- and piperadinyl-urea fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors is described. Brain/plasma (B/P) ratios ranging from >4:1 to as low as 0.02:1 were obtained through relatively simple structural changes to various regions of the heteroaryl urea scaffold. It was not possible to predict the degree of central nervous system (CNS) penetration from the volumes of distribution (Vd) obtained from pharmacokinetic (PK) experiments as very high Vds did not correlate with high B/P ratios. Similarly, calculated topological polar surface areas (TPSAs) did not consistently correlate with the degree of brain penetration. The lowest B/P ratios were observed for those compounds that were significantly ionized at physiological pH. However, as this class of compounds inhibits the FAAH enzyme through covalent modification, low B/P ratios did not preclude effective central target engagement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2016.05.001DOI Listing
July 2016

Preclinical Characterization of the FAAH Inhibitor JNJ-42165279.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Dec 2;6(12):1204-8. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, L.L.C. , 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, California 92121, United States.

The pre-clinical characterization of the aryl piperazinyl urea inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) JNJ-42165279 is described. JNJ-42165279 covalently inactivates the FAAH enzyme, but is highly selective with regard to other enzymes, ion channels, transporters, and receptors. JNJ-42165279 exhibited excellent ADME and pharmacodynamic properties as evidenced by its ability to block FAAH in the brain and periphery of rats and thereby cause an elevation of the concentrations of anandamide (AEA), oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA), and palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA). The compound was also efficacious in the spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model of neuropathic pain. The combination of good physical, ADME, and PD properties of JNJ-42165279 supported it entering the clinical portfolio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4677372PMC
December 2015

Identification and SAR of Glycine Benzamides as Potent Agonists for the GPR139 Receptor.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Sep 20;6(9):1015-8. Epub 2015 Jul 20.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC , San Diego, California 92121, United States.

A focused high throughput screening for GPR139 was completed for a select 100K compounds, and new agonist leads were identified. Subsequent analysis and structure-activity relationship studies identified (S)-3-chloro-N-(2-oxo-2-((1-phenylethyl)amino)ethyl)benzamide 7c as a potent and selective agonist of hGPR139 with an EC50 = 16 nM. The compound was found to cross the blood-brain barrier and have good drug-like properties amenable for oral dosing in rat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4569879PMC
September 2015

A selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist attenuates stress-induced hyperarousal without hypnotic effects.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2015 Mar 12;352(3):590-601. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California (P.B., S.Y., B.T.S., T.P.L., D.N., B.L., M.W., J.S., N.C., T.L., C.D.); and Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana (P.L.J., A.S., S.D.F.).

Orexins (OXs) are peptides produced by perifornical (PeF) and lateral hypothalamic neurons that exert a prominent role in arousal-related processes, including stress. A critical role for the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) in complex emotional behavior is emerging, such as overactivation of the OX1R pathway being associated with panic or anxiety states. Here we characterize a brain-penetrant, selective, and high-affinity OX1R antagonist, compound 56 [N-({3-[(3-ethoxy-6-methylpyridin-2-yl)carbonyl]-3-azabicyclo[4.1.0]hept-4-yl}methyl)-5-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-2-amine]. Ex vivo receptor binding studies demonstrated that, after subcutaneous administration, compound 56 crossed the blood-brain barrier and occupied OX1Rs in the rat brain at lower doses than standard OX1R antagonists GSK-1059865 [5-bromo-N-({1-[(3-fluoro-2-methoxyphenyl)carbonyl]-5-methylpiperidin-2-yl}methyl)pyridin-2-amine], SB-334867 [1-(2-methyl-1,3-benzoxazol-6-yl)-3-(1,5-naphthyridin-4-yl)urea], and SB-408124 [1-(6,8-difluoro-2-methylquinolin-4-yl)-3-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]urea]. Although compound 56 did not alter spontaneous sleep in rats and in wild-type mice, its administration in orexin-2 receptor knockout mice selectively promoted rapid eye movement sleep, demonstrating target engagement and specific OX1R blockade. In a rat model of psychological stress induced by cage exchange, the OX1R antagonist prevented the prolongation of sleep onset without affecting sleep duration. In a rat model of panic vulnerability (involving disinhibition of the PeF OX region) to threatening internal state changes (i.e., intravenous sodium lactate infusion), compound 56 attenuated sodium lactate-induced panic-like behaviors and cardiovascular responses without altering baseline locomotor or autonomic activity. In conclusion, OX1R antagonism represents a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders associated with stress or hyperarousal states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.114.220392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4352589PMC
March 2015

1-Aryl-2-((6-aryl)pyrimidin-4-yl)amino)ethanols as competitive inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2014 Mar 31;24(5):1280-4. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.

A series of 1-aryl-2-(((6-aryl)pyrimidin-4-yl)amino)ethanols have been found to be competitive inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). One member of this class, JNJ-40413269, was found to have excellent pharmacokinetic properties, demonstrated robust central target engagement, and was efficacious in a rat model of neuropathic pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.01.064DOI Listing
March 2014

Heteroarylureas with spirocyclic diamine cores as inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2014 Feb 6;24(3):737-41. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Janssen Research and Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of mechanism based heteroaryl urea fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors with spirocyclic diamine cores is described. A potent member of this class, (37), was found to inhibit FAAH centrally, elevate the brain levels of three fatty acid ethanolamides [FAAs: anandamide (AEA), oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA)], and was moderately efficacious in a rat model of neuropathic pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.12.113DOI Listing
February 2014

Heteroaryl urea inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase: structure-mutagenicity relationships for arylamine metabolites.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2012 Dec 22;22(24):7357-62. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Janssen Research and Development, LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.

The structure-activity relationships for a series of heteroaryl urea inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) are described. Members of this class of inhibitors have been shown to inactivate FAAH by covalent modification of an active site serine with subsequent release of an aromatic amine from the urea electrophile. Systematic Ames II testing guided the optimization of urea substituents by defining the structure-mutagenicity relationships for the released aromatic amine metabolites. Potent FAAH inhibitors were identified having heteroaryl amine leaving groups that were non-mutagenic in the Ames II assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.10.076DOI Listing
December 2012

Aryl Piperazinyl Ureas as Inhibitors of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) in Rat, Dog, and Primate.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2012 Oct 22;3(10):823-7. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC , 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, California 92121, United States.

A series of aryl piperazinyl ureas that act as covalent inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is described. A potent and selective (does not inhibit FAAH-2) member of this class, JNJ-40355003, was found to elevate the plasma levels of three fatty acid amides: anandamide, oleoyl ethanolamide, and palmitoyl ethanolamide, in the rat, dog, and cynomolgous monkey. The elevation of the levels of these lipids in the plasma of monkeys suggests that FAAH-2 may not play a significant role in regulating plasma levels of fatty acid ethanolamides in primates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml300186gDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025847PMC
October 2012

Biochemical and biological properties of 4-(3-phenyl-[1,2,4] thiadiazol-5-yl)-piperazine-1-carboxylic acid phenylamide, a mechanism-based inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Anesth Analg 2009 Jan;108(1):316-29

Pain and Related Disorders, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC, San Diego, California 92121, USA.

Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an integral membrane enzyme within the amidase-signature family. It catalyzes the hydrolysis of several endogenous biologically active lipids, including anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide), oleoyl ethanolamide, and palmitoyl ethanolamide. These endogenous FAAH substrates have been shown to be involved in a variety of physiological and pathological processes, including synaptic regulation, regulation of sleep and feeding, locomotor activity, pain and inflammation. Here we describe the biochemical and biological properties of a potent and selective FAAH inhibitor, 4-(3-phenyl-[1,2,4]thiadiazol-5-yl)-piperazine-1-carboxylic acid phenylamide (JNJ-1661010). The time-dependence of apparent IC(50) values at rat and human recombinant FAAH, dialysis and mass spectrometry data indicate that the acyl piperazinyl fragment of JNJ-1661010 forms a covalent bond with the enzyme. This bond is slowly hydrolyzed, with release of the piperazinyl fragment and recovery of enzyme activity. The lack of inhibition observed in a rat liver esterase assay suggests that JNJ-1661010 is not a general esterase inhibitor. JNJ-1661010 is >100-fold preferentially selective for FAAH-1 when compared to FAAH-2. JNJ-1661010 dose-dependently increases arachidonoyl ethanolamide, oleoyl ethanolamide, and palmitoyl ethanolamide in the rat brain. The compound attenuates tactile allodynia in the rat mild thermal injury model of acute tissue damage and in the rat spinal nerve ligation (Chung) model of neuropathic pain. JNJ-1661010 also diminishes thermal hyperalgesia in the inflammatory rat carrageenan paw model. These data suggest that FAAH inhibitors with modes of action similar to JNJ-1661010 may be useful clinically as broad-spectrum analgesics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/ane.0b013e31818c7cbdDOI Listing
January 2009

Thiadiazolopiperazinyl ureas as inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2008 Sep 25;18(17):4838-43. Epub 2008 Jul 25.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of thiadiazolopiperazinyl aryl urea fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors is described. The molecules were found to inhibit the enzyme by acting as mechanism-based substrates, forming a covalent bond with Ser241. SAR and PK properties are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.07.081DOI Listing
September 2008

Ablation of primary afferent terminals reduces nicotinic receptor expression and the nociceptive responses to nicotinic agonists in the spinal cord.

J Neurocytol 2004 Sep;33(5):543-56

Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0636, USA.

A variety of studies indicate that spinal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulate the behavioral and autonomic responses elicited by afferent stimuli. To examine the location of and role played by particular subtypes of nicotinic receptors in mediating cardiovascular and nociceptive responses, we treated neonatal and adult rats with capsaicin to destroy C-fibers in primary afferent terminals. Reduction of C-fiber terminals was ascertained by the loss of isolectin B4, CGRP and vanilloid receptors as monitored by immunofluorescence. Receptor autoradiography shows a reduction in number of epibatidine binding sites following capsaicin treatment. The reduction is particularly marked in the dorsal horn and primarily affects the class of high affinity epibatidine binding sites thought to modulate nociceptive responses. Accompanying the loss of terminals and nicotinic binding sites were significant reductions in the expression of alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 5, beta 2 and beta 4 nicotinic receptor subunits in the superficial layers of the spinal cord as determined by antibody staining and confocal microscopy. The loss of nicotinic receptors that follows capsaicin treatment results in attenuation of the nociceptive responses to both spinal cytisine and epibatidine. Capsaicin treatment also diminishes the capacity of cytisine to desensitize nicotinic receptors mediating nociception, but it shows little effect on intrathecal nicotinic agonist elicited pressor and heart rate responses. Hence, our data suggest that alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 5, beta 2 and beta 4 subunits of nicotinic receptors are localized in the spinal cord on primary afferent terminals that mediate nociceptive input. A variety of convergent data based on functional studies and subunit expression suggest that alpha 3 and alpha 4, in combination with beta 2 and alpha 5 subunits, form the majority of functional nicotinic receptors on C-fiber primary afferent terminals. Conversely, spinal nicotinic receptors not located on C-fibers play a primary role in the spinal pathways evoking spinally coordinated autonomic cardiovascular responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11068-004-0516-6DOI Listing
September 2004