Study of how Naked Mole Rats bear pain may help develop better pain medications for Humans

by Trendy

A Naked mole rat is a rodent that lives underground in colonies. A Typical naked mole rat colony consists of about 80 – 300 mole rats. It uses its front teeth to dig deep underground. A Colony consists of only one female rat whose offsprings then become soldiers and workers and aid in further underground digging.

A big breakthrough has been obtained in the development new analgesic drugs for people with chronic pain by the detailed study of a naked mole rats neurological system. It is understood that mammals produce a body chemical called substance p, which is released by pain fibers that then send signals to the central nervous system indicating pain. This substance is produced when a mammal comes into contact with something that causes different levels of pain. It has been discovered that naked mole rats can bear extreme levels of pain because their bodies do not produce the substance p chemical.

This study was conducted by Thomas Park, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Gary Lewin of the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin. They used a modified herpes cold sore virus to carry genes for Substance P to the rodents’ nerve fibres and were able to restore the ability to feel pain in the body of a naked mole rat.

Hopefully, this new study will help develop better medicines for patients who suffer chronic pain.

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