Wednesday, September 28

Anthrax toxin serves as pain treatment | Digital Trends Spanish

The fight against pain seems to have a new and unexpected ally: an anthrax toxin, which can mitigate the neural signals that occur in the brain and that produce, precisely, pain.

A recent scientific study discovered that the proteins produced by the anthrax bacteria can alter the signals generated by nerve cells. This occurs when a protein called protective antigen (or PA) interacts with nerve cells and serves as a transport for the so-called edema factor (EF) to reach the cell as well.

In an experiment carried out with mice, it was found that both the edema factor and the protective antigen are effective silencers of the signals that produce pain. To do this, both components were injected into the spine of the rodents; Later, the analysis found that the toxins blocked the pain sensations produced in the animals’ brains.

Issac Chiu, one of the study’s principal investigators, explained in New Atlas that the model is described as a ‘molecular platform’ that uses a bacterial toxin to deliver substances to neurons, a breakthrough and a new approach to how pain medications are created and how they are these act on the brain.

The experiment also shows that a similar method, based on transport proteins, could be used in the future not only to attack pain, but also for other treatments that need to bring a component to a specific place in the body. So far, what is known is that this method is effective in mice, but further testing will be necessary before it can be converted into a treatment for humans.

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