PerspectiveNeuroscience

Stress signaling in pain control

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Science  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6450, pp. 224-225
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay2721

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Summary

The control of chronic pain has become a major public health concern because frequent prescriptions for opioids to control pain leads to increasing risks for abuse and overdose-related deaths. Therefore, in order to develop new therapeutic approaches that are as efficient as current treatments but with reduced adverse effects, a better understanding of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in chronic pain is required. On page 248 of this issue, Chopra et al. (1) demonstrate that signaling by inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α)–X-box binding protein spliced (XBP1s), which is induced by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, enhances prostaglandin synthesis and release by myeloid cells, contributing to chronic pain in mouse models. This study reveals a new therapeutic approach for attenuating chronic pain behavior.

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