A Role for Translational Regulation by S6 Kinase and a Downstream Target in Inflammatory Pain

de la Peña JB, Kunder N, Lou T-F, Chase R, Stanowick A, Barragan-Iglesias P, Pancrazio JJ, Campbell ZT.

British Journal of Pharmacology, 2021

Scientists uncover new target in pain that could lead to novel analgesic compounds

Nociceptors can exhibit chronic changes in excitability in response to inflammatory signaling. Changes in nociceptor plasticity are regulated on a translational basis, but researchers do not fully understand the targets that facilitate this process. However, scientists using bioelectronic assays and other methods have identified a new downstream target for inflammation-induced pain that may lead to the development of novel pain-modulating compounds.

To help understand the role of certain kinase pathways in neural activity associated with pain, researchers used Axion’s Maestro platform to conduct in vitro multielectrode array experiments on mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons and found that pharmacological inhibition of S6K1 or C-Fos reduced inflammation-related neuronal firing and hypersensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimulation. Taken with other results from the study, the authors demonstrated a novel role of S6K1 in modulating the rapid response to inflammatory mediators and suggest that targeting the S6 kinase pathway or c-Fos could lead to new ways to treat pain in the future.