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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2014 Jul 16;5(7):525-32. doi: 10.1021/cn500053d. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Silicon-containing GABA derivatives, silagaba compounds, as orally effective agents for treating neuropathic pain without central-nervous-system-related side effects.

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Research Foundation ITSUU Laboratory, 2-28-10 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-0094, Japan.


Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition resulting from neuronal damage. Pregabalin, the (S)-isomer of 3-isobutyl-γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is widely used to treat neuropathic pain, despite the occurrence of central nervous system (CNS)-related side effects such as dizziness and somnolence. Here we describe the pharmacology of novel GABA derivatives containing silicon-carbon bonds, silagaba compounds. Silagaba131, 132, and 161 showed pregabalin-like analgesic activities in animal models of neuropathic pain, but in contrast to pregabalin they did not impair neuromuscular coordination in rotarod tests. Pharmacokinetic studies showed that brain exposure to silagaba compounds was lower than that to pregabalin. Surprisingly, despite their potent analgesic action in vivo, silagaba compounds showed only weak binding to α2-δ protein. These compounds may be useful to study mechanisms of neuropathic pain. Our results also indicate that silagaba132 and 161 are candidates for orally effective treatment of neuropathic pain without CNS-related side effects.

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