The main objective of this study was to determine whether (E)-3-furan-2-yl-N-p-tolyl-acrylamide (PAM-2) and its structural derivative DM489 produce anti-neuropathic pain activity using the streptozotocin (STZ)- and oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain animal models. To assess possible mechanisms of action, the pharmacological activity of these compounds was determined at α7 and α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and CaV2.2 channels expressed alone or coexpressed with G protein-coupled GABAB receptors. The animal results indicated that a single dose of 3 mg/kg PAM-2 or DM489 decreases STZ-induced neuropathic pain in mice, and chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain is decreased by PAM-2 (3 mg/kg) and DM489 (10 mg/kg). The observed anti-neuropathic pain activity was inhibited by the α7-selective antagonist methyllycaconitine. The coadministration of oxaliplatin with an inactive dose (1 mg/kg) of PAM-2 decreased the development of neuropathic pain after 14, but not 7, days of cotreatment. The electrophysiological results indicated that PAM-2 potentiates human (h) and rat (r) α7 nAChRs with 2-7 times higher potency than that for hCaV2.2 channel inhibition and an even greater difference compared to that for rα9α10 nAChR inhibition. These results support the notion that α7 nAChR potentiation is likely the predominant molecular mechanism underlying the observed anti-nociceptive pain activity of these compounds.
- Ca2.2 channels
- Neuropathic pain
- nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
- positive allosteric modulators