WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 9 - Gabapentin conjugated to an axonal transport facilitator can be delivered from the periphery to specific dorsal root ganglia in rats, resulting in a significant reduction in experimental hyperalgesia, researchers reported Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans.
This delivery method may result in "the creation of new treatment methods for previously intractable medical problems," Dr. Aaron Filler told Reuters Health.
Dr. Filler, of the University of California at Los Angeles, collaborated with colleagues at the University of Cambridge in the UK to construct a multivalent complex consisting of an axonal transport facilitator attached to "a linker molecule bearing up to 100 reversibly attached drug molecules."
The researchers reported that a single injection of the construct carrying gabapentin resulted in a 50% reduction of mean hyperalgesia in a rat model of neuropathic pain. The pain reduction lasted up to 4 days. Control animals receiving the same injected dose of gabapentin either locally or systemically without the axonal transport facilitator showed no similar effect, Dr. Filler said.
Tracer studies confirmed that "the medication remains in the targeted area," Dr. Filler said, and went on to note that medication delivered using this system maintains longer lasting pain relief with significantly reduced amounts of medication.
"This delivery method uses a natural biological process combined with
21st century molecular design," Dr. Filler told Reuters Health. He expects
that clinical trials using this delivery system in humans will begin within