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Fusion protein of anti-inflammatory cytokines for the treatment of chronic pain

Friday 8 January 2016

Chronic pain affects ~20% of the population but treatments to provide relief are largely ineffective. Regulatory cytokines have been identified as potential resolving factors for pain, but their individual performances in studies have been disappointing. We have developed a new strategy to treat pain: fusing regulatory cytokines to improve functional effectiveness. Cytokine fusion of IL4 and IL10 (IL4-10 synerkine) improves bioavailability, induces synergistic signaling in neurons and most importantly resolves chronic pain in rodents, whilst combined IL4 and IL10 treatment is only partially effective. The aim of the current project is to identify which signaling pathways are differentially activated by IL4-10 synerkine compared to the wild type cytokine in sensory neurons and elucidate the downstream targets affected by synerkine to cause pain relief. Moreover we are currently developing other combination of cytokines to treat other form of pain.

Techniques Cell culture, cloning, in vivo virus-mediated overexpression, virus production, ELISA, Western Bot, RNA isolation, RT-PCR, cloning, immunohistochemistry, microscopy

Duration: 6-9 months

Contact: Dr. Niels Eijkelkamp: N.Eijkelkamp@umcutrecht.nl