Lentiviral Therapy for Pain

Relatively benign viruses can be used as a vehicle to bring materials into the nervous system, by infection with viruses into which has been spliced the genes to manufacture certain molecules. Viruses incorporate themselves into the DNA of the neuron, making it possible to manipulate gene expression.

We have already written an information dense article on NF Kappa B, the mediator of neuroinflammation via proinflammatory cytokines, which leads to chronic pain. In that article it was pointed out that a natural inhibitor of NF Kappa B is I Kappa B. Because such material is hard reading, we will here only cite a hopeful study which illustrates a possibly therapeutic application of the ideas in the former article.

We report here that Meunier et al have published in Feb 2007 Molecular Therapy that in a peripheral nerve injury model, delivery of I Kappa B alpha to the dorsal horn of the cord, using a lentivirus as a vector, attenuated the nerve injury pain.

This is a first step in snowing that at least one form of I Kappa B can block neuroinflammation and attenuate nerve injury pain. We look forward to similar studies with central pain animal models.