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Anesthetic Approach Stops Pain Without Affecting Motor Function
Date:2/1/2010

o also directs the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery (LBDD) at Children's. "What we've discovered really is a new approach; the question now is to figure out the mechanism by which it works and look at the effects of other chemical permeability enhancers."

Kohane speculates that surfactant made the anesthetic better able to penetrate sensory nerves, which have little or none of the fatty coating known as myelin, whereas in motor neurons, which have abundant myelin, the active drug gets trapped in the myelin, never entering the nerve itself.

The lab's next steps will be to explore the effects of different permeability enhancers and examine their safety, since at high doses the drug combination could potentially be toxic to the nerves. The eventual plan is to test the approach in larger animals.

A parallel approach to achieving a pain-specific nerve block was proposed in 2007 by Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD, recently appointed director of the Children's Hospital Boston Program in Neurobiology. Woolf's team combined QXT-314 with capsaicin, which opens cellular gates that are only present in sensory neurons, and achieved pain-specific blocks in rats lasting 2 hours or more.

The new study was funded by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. Itay Sagie, a research associate at the LBDD, was the paper's first author. For licensing information, see: www.childrensinnovations.org/SearchDetails.aspx?id=1679.

Citation: Sagie I and Kohane D. Prolonged sensory-selective nerve blockade. PNAS online early edition, week of February 1, 2010.


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SOURCE Children's Hospital Boston
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