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 EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 472-478

The imidazoline receptors and ligands in pain modulation


Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Anadolu University, Eskisehir 26470, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nurcan Bektas
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Anadolu University, Eskisehir 26470
Turkey
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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.165196

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Pain is an unpleasant experience and effects daily routine negatively. Although there are various drugs, many of them are not entirely successful in relieving pain, since pain modulation is a complex process involving numerous mediators and receptors. Therefore, it is a rational approach to identify the factors involved in the complex process and develop new agents that act on these pain producing mechanisms. In this respect, the involvement of the imidazoline receptors in pain modulation has drawn attention in recent years. In this review, it is aimed to focus on the imidazoline receptors and their ligands which contribute to the pain modulation. It is demonstrated that imidazoline-2 (I2) receptors are steady new drug targets for analgesics. Even if the mechanism of I2receptor is not well known in the modulation of pain, it is known that it plays a role in tonic and chronic pain but not in acute phasic pain. Moreover, the I2receptor ligands increase the analgesic effects of opioids in both acute and chronic pain and prevent the development of opioid tolerance. So, they are valuable for the chronic pain treatment and also therapeutic coadjuvants in the management of chronic pain with opiate drugs due to the attenuation of opioid tolerance and addiction. Thus, the use of the ligands which bind to the imidazoline receptors is an effective strategy for relieving pain. This educational forum exhibits the role of imidazoline receptors and ligands in pain process by utilizing experimental studies.






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