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Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;12(10):1720-7.

Bv8-prokineticins and their receptors: modulators of pain.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Vittorio Erspamer, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.


Bv8 is a small protein secreted by frog skin. Mammalian homologues of Bv8, the prokineticins PK1 and PK2, and their G-protein coupled receptors PKR1 and PKR2 have been identified and linked to several biological effects as gut motility, circadian rhythms, neurogenesis, angiogenesis and cancer progression, haematopoiesis and nociception. In rodents, administration of amphibian Bv8 lowers nociceptor thresholds to a broad spectrum of physical and chemical stimuli. The prokineticin receptors are present in regions of the nervous system associated with pain; primary sensitive neurons expressing PKRs also express the vanilloid receptor TRPV1, providing an anatomical basis for PKR1/TRPV1 cooperative interaction in nociceptor sensitization. Bv8/PK2, strongly up-regulated in neutrophils and other inflammatory cells, is a main pronociceptive mediator in inflamed tissues. Indeed Bv8/PK2 produced by inflammatory cells is released at the site of inflammation where it sensitizes peripheral nociceptors, stimulates chemotaxis and modulates the release of inflammatory and pronociceptive cytokines. Availability of a non-peptide PKR antagonist, leading to blockade the PK/PKR system, ameliorates pain arising from tissue injury and, additionally, reduces the time required for recovery from injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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