Research ArticlePain

Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 regulates nociception in rodent models of acute inflammatory pain

Science Translational Medicine  27 Aug 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 251, pp. 251ra118
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009539

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

New Path to Pain Control

Pain is a seriously undertreated condition, and new drugs are sorely needed. Now, Zambelli et al. find that an inactivating mutation of the enzyme that degrades aldehydes—a known pain-causing molecule—markedly increases rodents’ susceptibility to a painful stimulus. Conversely, activating the enzyme with the drug Alda-1 reverses this effect. Indeed, the authors found a tight correlation between the local concentration of aldehydes at the injury site and the magnitude of the pain response. New drugs that modulate aldehyde levels could prove beneficial for patients, possibly without the addiction that plagues opiate pain killers. In addition, these results may explain the greater sensitivity to pain reported in East Asian people, many of whom carry a mutation in this same aldehyde-degrading enzyme.