Porto Pirgos Hotel (www.portopirgos.com)

Parghelia (VV), Calabria, Italy

22nd-24th September, 2010


Giacinto Bagetta                                                          (Cosenza)

Shinobu Sakurada                                                       (Sendai)



Giacinto Bagetta                                                         (Italy)

Giorgio Bernardi                                                          (Italy)

Tiziana M. Corasaniti                                                   (Italy)

Oliver J. Dolly                                                               (Ireland)

Domenicantonio Rotiroti                                              (Italy)

Shinobu Sakurada                                                       (Japan)

Tsukasa Sakurada                                                       (Japan)

Giorgio Sandrini                                                           (Italy)


Chronic pain is a major medical and social issue with almost 20% of the European population suffering from chronic or intermittent pain. This results in disabilities, reduced quality of life for patients and increasing economic loss for society. Only 1/3 of the patients receive pain relief from current analgesics, like opiates, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local anaesthetics, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants, including carbamazepine and gabapentin. Recent advances in the understanding of pain mechanisms hold, therefore, much hope as they reveal new potential therapeutic targets for the development of more effective drugs.

         Experimental models recapitulating features of sensitization and pain, such as the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain, represent a valuable tool and an important source of information on the long-term plasticity changes occurring in pain processing and modulation. Changes in excitatory synaptic transmission and altered long-term potentiation (LTP) have been reported at spinal level but also in supra-spinal CNS regions, including the cortex. At cellular level, changes in activation of postsynaptic signaling pathways together with new gene expression and protein synthesis have been reported to result in permanent structural changes relevant for pain processing.

         It is now well established that non-neuronal cells play an important role in initiating and modulating the nociceptors activity in primary afferent by the release of mediators that bind to specific receptors expressed by these cells. However, only recently the influence of central non-neuronal cells, i.e. cells of the immune system, such as microglia, but also glial cells such as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, has been recognized as relevant for pain processing. The evidence gathered so far suggests that CNS glia contribute to sensitization and pain-related behavior by modulating neuronal function and synaptic communication. However, the translational value of these recent observations for clinic still needs validation.

         The recent application of functional image analysis technique (fMRI) to the study of pain has proven extremely useful for studying the pharmacologic modulation of pain-related brain activity in humans. For instance, under conditions mimicking neuropathic pain sensitization, gabapentin antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic effects are most evident in brain areas undergoing deactivation, thus supporting the concept that gabapentin is more effective in modulating nociceptive transmission when central sensitization is present. This represents an important example of how basic knowledge can now be rapidly translated into valuable therapeutic advancements.

         Altogether, these and other subjects will be topics for discussion at the forthcoming international meeting on “Molecular and Cellular Targets for Novel Pain Therapeutics: from Basic Research to Clinic Translation” that will take place at the Porto Pirgos Hotel in Parghelia (VV). The meeting is organized in the frame of a scientific and academic agreement signed between the Tohoku Pharmaceutical University of Sendai (Japan) and The University of Calabria at Cosenza (Italy). Almost twenty scientists from Universities of Japan including Tokyo, Sendai, Wakayama, Fukuoka and others will join researchers from The Department of Pharmacobiology (Unical, Rende), The Department of Pharmacobiological Sciences (Unicz, Catanzaro) and from international Scientific Institutions like The London Pain Consortium (UK), The Center for Neurotherapeutics of Dublin City University, The University College and Kings College of London (UK), The University Consortium for Adaptive Disorders and Headache (UCADH; Pavia), The IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation (Rome). The PhD courses in Pharmacology and Biochemistry of Cell Death and of Cellular Biochemistry and Drug Activity in Oncology have contributed to the organization of this event that provides a short Summer School for their students.

Pain meeting Scientific Programme.pdf
Documento Adobe Acrobat 216.4 KB
Documento Adobe Acrobat 501.0 KB
Meeting Report - Molecular targets for Novel Pain Therapeutics 2010
Molecular targets for Novel Pain Therape
Documento Adobe Acrobat 224.8 KB
Documento Adobe Acrobat 858.5 KB


Meeting Venue