Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Ther. 2004 Jan;9(1):24-9.

Reversal of ongoing thermal hyperalgesia in mice by a recombinant herpesvirus that encodes human preproenkephalin.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Herpesvirus-mediated transfer of the human preproenkephalin gene to primary afferent nociceptors prevents phasic thermal allodynia/hyperalgesia in mice. It is not known, however, whether similar viral treatments would reverse ongoing or chronic pain and allodynia/hyperalgesia. To this end, mice were given intrathecal injections of pertussis toxin (PTX), which produces a weeks-long thermal hyperalgesia apparently by uncoupling certain G proteins from inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. This treatment produced profound thermal hyperalgesia in both Adelta and C-fiber thermonociceptive tests lasting at least 6 weeks. However, treatment of skin surfaces with an enkephalin-encoding herpesvirus, but not control virus or vehicle, completely reversed this hyperalgesia. This profound anti-hyperalgesia was observed for both Adelta- and C-fiber-mediated responses. Interestingly, however, while the anti-hyperalgesic effect of the enkephalin-encoding virus on C-fiber-mediated responses was reversed by intrathecal application of micro or delta opioid antagonists, only delta antagonists reversed the effect of this virus on Adelta hyperalgesia. Thus, virus-mediated delivery of the proenkephalin cDNA reverses thermal hyperalgesia produced by PTX-induced ribosylation of inhibitory G proteins by an opioid-mediated mechanism. These results suggest that herpesvirus vectors encoding analgesic peptides may be useful in attenuating centrally mediated, ongoing neuropathic pain and/or hyperalgesia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk