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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Aug;10(8):943-5. Epub 2007 Jul 15.

A tarantula peptide against pain via ASIC1a channels and opioid mechanisms.

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  • 1Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut Paul Hamel, Université de Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, 660 Route des Lucioles 06560 Valbonne, France.


Psalmotoxin 1, a peptide extracted from the South American tarantula Psalmopoeus cambridgei, has very potent analgesic properties against thermal, mechanical, chemical, inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents. It exerts its action by blocking acid-sensing ion channel 1a, and this blockade results in an activation of the endogenous enkephalin pathway. The analgesic properties of the peptide are suppressed by antagonists of the mu and delta-opioid receptors and are lost in Penk1-/- mice.

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