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Third-party-funded project

Antidepressants in pain treatment: The influence of cytokines in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain and tumor-pain

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) are used in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant neuropathic pain. Their mode of action is not entirely known, but inhibition of monoamin reuptake and thus the enhancement of central antinociceptive pathways seem to be most important. TCA also reduce the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) in the CNS. In the CNS, TNF can reduce the release of noradrenalin and is thus an antagonist to the TCAs. In this project, we examine the modulation of the analgesic action of TCAs by TNF. TCA are administered to wild type mice and TNF-receptor deficient mice with a vincristine neuropathy and an experimental sarcoma. In a clinical part, blood from patients with a vincristine-neuropathy will be examined for the cytokine mRNA expression in leukocytes using quantitative PCR and the response of these patients to TCA will be monitored. A better understanding of the mode of action of TCA and their interaction with endogenous cytokines will help to lead to a more focussed use of treatment modalities in patients with tumor-associated pain.

Key words:
    tumor necrosis factor-alpha

Projekt period: from 10.2001 to 09.2003

Funding institution:
Sonstige Stiftung ,Granting date: 17.07.2001