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GBCB Seminar, New ideas on chronic pain: Bioactive lipids as targets for non-opioid drug development

  • Thursday November 30th, 4pm at Steger Hall Auditorium
  • By: Dr. Ann Gregus, Ph.D.
    Staff Scientist, Department of Biochemistry

Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined and costs in excess of $600 billion per year in treatment and lost productivity. Nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen represent the first line of therapeutics for inflammatory pain, yet these drugs lack efficacy in many types of pain in patient populations. We have demonstrated that peripheral inflammation and direct spinal activation of Toll 4 receptors (TLR4) increases synthesis of spinal 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX)-derived hepoxilin lipid signals (HXA3 and HXB3) that contribute to hyperalgesia in rats. Spinal delivery of selective, potent inhibitors of 12-LOX prevent the ensuing NSAID-insensitive hyperpathic state.  Finally, we have identified several receptors binding hepoxilins as possible druggable targets using high throughput screening (HTS) techniques. Current studies are underway to investigate the significance of hepoxilins and other high value targets in both mouse and rat models of chronic pain in effort to identify potential leads for future drug development.

Public welcome, coffee and cookies 3:30-4pm., seminar 4-5 pm.