• The role of Proteasome in the development, maintenance and management of Chronic Pain
  • Rullo, Laura <1990>


  • BIO/14 Farmacologia


  • In chronic pain, opioids represent the gold standard analgesics, but their use is hampered by the development of several side effects, as development of analgesic tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Evidence showed that many molecular mechanisms (changes in opioid receptors, neurotransmitter release, and glia/microglia activation) are involved in their appearance, as well as in chronic pain. Recently, a crucial role has been proposed for oxidative stress and proteasome in chronic pain and in treatment-related side effects. To better elucidate these aspects, the aim of this PhD thesis was to investigate the effects of opioids on cell oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymatic machinery and proteasome expression and activity in vitro. Also, the involvement of proteasome in the development of chronic pain conditions was investigated utilizing an experimental model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy (OXAIN), in vivo. Data showed that morphine, fentanyl, buprenorphine and tapentadol alter differently ROS production. The ROS increasing effect of morphine is not shared by the other opioids, suggesting that the different pharmacological profile could influence this parameter. Moreover, these drugs produced different alterations of β2trypsin-like and β5chymotrypsin-like activities. In fact, while morphine and fentanyl increased the proteolytic activity after prolonged exposure, a different picture was observed for buprenorphine and tapentadol, suggesting that the level of MOR agonism could be strongly related with proteasome activation. In vivo studies revealed that rats treated with oxaliplatin showed a significant increase in β5, in the thalamus (TH) and somatosensory cortex (SSCx). Moreover, a selective up-regulation of β5 and LMP7 subunit gene expression was assessed in the SSCx. Furthermore, our study revealed that oprozomib, a selective β5 inhibitor normalized the spinal prodynorphin gene expression upregulation induced by oxaliplatin, and reverted mechanical/thermal allodynia and mechanical hyperalgesia in oxaliplatin-treated rats. These results underline the role of proteasome in the OXAIN and suggest new pharmacological targets to counteract it.


  • 2021-05-28
  • info:eu-repo/date/embargoEnd/2023-07-31


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Rullo, Laura (2021) The role of Proteasome in the development, maintenance and management of Chronic Pain, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche , 33 Ciclo.