Getting to the Source of Kratom's Pain-relieving Properties
News May 30, 2019 | Original story from the American Chemical Society.
Kratom is a Southeast Asian tree with a long history of use in traditional medicine. In the region, the plant’s leaves are widely consumed for pain relief, treatment of opioid addiction and other uses. Though its efficacy and safety are unproven, kratom use has spread to the U.S. and Europe. Now, researchers report in ACS Central Science that a metabolite of a kratom alkaloid could be responsible for the treatment’s therapeutic effects.
Currently, kratom is legal and available in the U.S. as a gray-market product, but it has an uncertain regulatory future. In the meantime, scientists are investigating the substance’s physiological effects. Some prior research attributed these effects to mitragynine, the major active alkaloid in kratom, and its binding to an opioid receptor. However, 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-OH), another alkaloid present in the leaf at far lower concentrations, also interacts with that receptor. To clear up the matter, Jonathan A. Javitch, Susruta Majumdar, Dalibor Sames and colleagues set out to probe the pharmacological and metabolic mechanisms behind kratom’s analgesic effects.
Through studies in cells and mice, the researchers showed that most of the analgesic effect is from 7-OH rather than mitragynine. They also found that metabolism of mitragynine in mouse and human liver preparations actually produces much more 7-OH than is present naturally in kratom. The team says that the results shed light on some of the seemingly contradictory reports on kratom, but more studies are still needed to see whether their findings in mice extend to humans.
7-Hydroxymitragynine Is an Active Metabolite of Mitragynine and a Key Mediator of Its Analgesic Effects. Andrew C. Kruegel et al. ACS Cent. Sci.2019, https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.9b00141.
This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
A large clinical trial to assess treatments for preventing people at high risk from developing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has begun. The study is comparing the safety and efficacy of a new MDR-TB drug, delamanid, with the decades-old TB drug isoniazid for preventing active MDR-TB disease in children, adolescents and adults at high risk who are exposed to adult household members with MDR-TB.READ MORE
Some MRSA infections could be tackled using widely-available antibiotics, suggests new research. A team of scientists used genome sequencing technology to identify which genes make MRSA susceptible to a previously defined combination of drugs. They identified a number of mutations centered around a protein known as a penicillin-binding protein 2a or PBP2a.