Significantly less addictive opioid may slow progression of osteoarthritis while easing pain

July 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES - A novel preclinical Arthritis & Rheumatology, reveals that a potential new opioid medication may have the ability to slow the progression of osteoarthritis while being less addictive than commonly prescribed opioid drugs.

The medication activates the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), which binds to opioid-like compounds in the central and peripheral nervous systems to alleviate pain, resulting in targeted pain relief with a reduced risk of addiction.

Previous research shows that some opioids that selectively activate only KORs relieve pain locally at the site of injury without crossing the blood brain barrier and inducing substance dependency, whereas commonly prescribed opioids that target other receptors in the brain are more addictive.

In this study, lead author

The researchers confirmed that the medication effectively alleviated pain, however findings also suggest that the medication prevented the loss of cartilage, the connective tissue between the joins that pads bones, and slowed the progression of osteoarthritis.

"Arthritis affects nearly a quarter of adults in the United States, many of whom take addictive opioids to manage their pain. The implications of this study may someday alter how we provide orthopaedic care to significantly reduce the number of patients experiencing long-term pain and addiction," says Weber.

More research is needed to advance toward human clinical trials, which are paramount as treatment and pain management options for osteoarthritis are limited.

"We hope that the findings of our study will lay the foundations for clinical research to further current understandings of the relationship between kappa opioids and osteoarthritis in humans to improve clinical care and quality of life," says Evseenko.
-end-
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health under award numbers

For more information about Keck Medicine of USC visit

University of Southern California - Health Sciences

Related Preclinical Articles from Brightsurf:

New anti-AB vaccine could help halt Alzheimer's progression, preclinical study finds
A preclinical study led by University of South Florida Health neuroscientists indicates that an antigen-presenting dendritic vaccine with a specific antibody response to oligomeric Aβ may be safer and offer clinical benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Hackensack Meridian CDI scientists find one-two punch for preclinical cancer models
Research findings published Aug. 14, 2020 in the journal Cancer Research suggest that since some cancer treatments can be undermined by epigenetic changes (altered DNA methylation affecting gene expression) in cancer cells before the treatments are even administered, a worthwhile strategy is to administer an epigenetically-acting drug - which can pave the way for more effective subsequent use of immune-acting cancer treatments.

New multiple myeloma therapy shows promise in preclinical study
A new alpha-radioimmunotherapy, 212Pb-anti-CD38, has proven effective in preventing tumor growth and increasing survival in multiple myeloma tumor-bearing mice, according to new research published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Reprogramming of immune cells enhances effects of radiotherapy in preclinical models of brain cancer
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has dissected how radiotherapy alters the behavior of immune cells known as macrophages found in glioblastoma (GBM) tumors and shown how these cells might be reprogrammed with an existing drug to suppress the invariable recurrence of the aggressive brain cancer

New theranostic agents show efficacy in prostate cancer treatment in preclinical studies
Researchers have developed a new pair of agents that show exceptional effectiveness for precision diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in preclinical studies.

Publication in Nature Communications highlights the preclinical development of SYNB1891
Synlogic today announced the publication in Nature Communications of preclinical data supporting its first clinical immuno-oncology program, SYNB1891, which is being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.

Non-caloric sweetener reduces signs of fatty liver disease in preclinical research study
Children's Hospital Los Angeles investigator shows that non-caloric sweetener stevia decreases signs of fatty liver disease in a pre-clinical model.

Cancer drug with better staying power, reduced toxicity promising in preclinical trial
A drug candidate has been found in preclinical trials to stop tumor growth entirely, deliver more cancer-busting power than many commonly used chemotherapy drugs and do so with fewer toxic side effects and more ability to overcome resistance.

Nature Gene Therapy publishes preclinical data of Ocugen's OCU400 genetic modifier
Ocugen, Inc., a clinical-stage company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing transformative therapies to treat rare and underserved ophthalmic diseases, announced today the publication in Nature Gene Therapy of preclinical data of nuclear hormone receptor gene NR2E3 as a genetic modifier and therapeutic agent to treat multiple retinal degenerative diseases.

'Resetting' immune cells improves traumatic brain injury recovery in preclinical trials
Targeting overactive immune cells and dampening their chronic neurotoxic effects may offer new therapeutic strategies for traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to new preclinical research in mice, which has been published today.

Read More: Preclinical News and Preclinical Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.