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Role of cytoplasmic DNA sensor, STING, in cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathic pain development

Grant number: 21/09854-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - General Pharmacology
Principal researcher:Thiago Mattar Cunha
Grantee:Fabio Bonifacio de Andrade
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/08216-2 - CRID - Center for Research in Inflammatory Diseases, AP.CEPID


Pain perception is necessary for the survival and self-preservation of an organism. However, situations that affect the somatosensory system leads to pathologic chronic pain development. Cisplatin, a chemotherapeutic agent widely used for Cancer treatment, has as its major side effect the neurotoxicity, that results in peripheral neuropathy. This debilitating condition affects more than 90% of patients and can persist even though the treatment is over. Cisplatin-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) pathophysiology is characterized, in addition to direct cytotoxic activity, by a range of other alterations that can contribute to nociceptors injury. Emerging evidence demonstrates that cisplatin treatment provokes neuropathic pain in mice through mitochondrial damage in sensorial neurons. Moreover, mitochondrial damage can induce cytoplasmic escape of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), leading to activation of the DNA sensor STING. We therefore hypothesize that cisplatin-induced mitochondrial damage in neurons could stimulate the cytoplasmic escape of mtDNA resulting in STING activation and, hence, the production of inflammatory cytokines that are relevant for neuropathic pain development. Previous behavioral data from our lab demonstrate that STING contributes to Neuropathic Pain Induced by Cisplatin (NPIC) development. Thus, we aimed to investigate the role of STING in NPIC once studies evaluating this association are inexistent. To address this aim, we are going to use in vivo approaches in which STING will be down-regulated by genetic techniques, and also in vitro approaches. The understanding of the mechanisms and molecules involved in CIPN development can reveal new targets for pharmacological interventions. (AU)

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