Tetrodotoxin: a new strategy to treat visceral pain?
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2426
EDITED VERSION: https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13070496
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Visceral pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Although the origin of these symptoms has not been clearly defined, the implication of both the central and peripheral nervous systems in visceral hypersensitivity is well established. The role of several pathways in visceral nociception has been explored, as well as the influence of specific receptors on afferent neurons, such as voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). VGSCs initiate action potentials and dysfunction of these channels has recently been associated with painful GI conditions. Current treatments for visceral pain generally involve opioid based drugs, which are associated with important side-effects and a loss of effectiveness or tolerance. Hence, efforts have been intensified to find new, more effective and longer-lasting therapies. The implication of VGSCs in visceral hypersensitivity has drawn attention to tetrodotoxin (TTX), a relatively selective sodium channel blocker, as a possible and promising molecule to treat visceral pain and related diseases. As such, here we will review the latest information regarding this toxin that is relevant to the treatment of visceral pain and the possible advantages that it may offer relative to other treatments, alone or in combination.
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