Chronic pain is a major public health problem with limited treatment options. Opioids remain a routine treatment for chronic pain, but extended exposure to opioid therapy can produce opioid tolerance and hyperalgesia. Although the mechanisms underlying chronic pain, opioid-induced tolerance, and opioid-induced hyperalgesia remain to be uncovered, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is involved in these disorders. The mTOR complex 1 and its triggered protein translation are required for the initiation and maintenance of chronic pain (including cancer pain) and opioid-induced tolerance/hyperalgesia. Given that mTOR inhibitors are FDA-approved drugs and an mTOR inhibitor is approved for the treatment of several cancers, these findings suggest that mTOR inhibitors will likely have multiple clinical benefits, including anticancer, antinociception/anti-cancer pain, and antitolerance/hyperalgesia. This paper compares the role of mTOR complex 1 in chronic pain, opioid-induced tolerance, and opioid-induced hyperalgesia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine