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Mol Pain. 2005 Feb 25;1:9.

Controlling neuropathic pain by adeno-associated virus driven production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10.

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  • 1Department of Psychology & the Center for Neuroscience, University of CO at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309 USA.


Despite many decades of drug development, effective therapies for neuropathic pain remain elusive. The recent recognition of spinal cord glia and glial pro-inflammatory cytokines as important contributors to neuropathic pain suggests an alternative therapeutic strategy; that is, targeting glial activation or its downstream consequences. While several glial-selective drugs have been successful in controlling neuropathic pain in animal models, none are optimal for human use. Thus the aim of the present studies was to explore a novel approach for controlling neuropathic pain. Here, an adeno-associated viral (serotype II; AAV2) vector was created that encodes the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10). This anti-inflammatory cytokine is known to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Upon intrathecal administration, this novel AAV2-IL-10 vector was successful in transiently preventing and reversing neuropathic pain. Intrathecal administration of an AAV2 vector encoding beta-galactosidase revealed that AAV2 preferentially infects meningeal cells surrounding the CSF space. Taken together, these data provide initial support that intrathecal gene therapy to drive the production of IL-10 may prove to be an efficacious treatment for neuropathic pain.

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