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Scientists Locate Nerve ‘Targets’ for Natural Pain Chemical

May 2, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Scientists have found specialized nerve sites where a natural pain-causing substance attaches itself, adding evidence that the substance plays a key role in the body’s perception of pain.

Molecules of the substance, bradykinin, bound to the nerve sites in experiments with dog and guinea pig nerve tissue, scientists said in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bradykinin is released from bodily tissues when they are injured. Researchers reported last year that drugs designed to block the binding of bradykinin to nerve sites could relieve pain in rats.

Scientists in the new study included Solomon Snyder and Donald Manning of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Larry Steranka of Nova Pharmaceutical Corp., and Raymond Vavrek and John Stewart of the University of Colorado.

Researchers incubated slices of animal spinal cord and other nerve tissues with bradykinin that had been labeled with a radioactive isotope for easy tracking. Tests showed the bradykinin bound to particular sites, called receptors, on sensory nerves that carry pain messages.

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