Achieving translation in models of visceral pain

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;11(6):575-81. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2011.09.008. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


The failure of drugs to modify pain end points in clinical trials for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) highlights the knowledge gap that exists in the translation of efficacy in animal models of visceral pain into the clinic. Recent progress has been made towards improving the translation of visceral pain, particularly with regard to the activation of the sensory nerves which relay pain from the gut to the brain. This review will focus on studies which have identified the presence of an altered gastrointestinal and immune environment in IBS patients. The development of human gastrointestinal visceral afferent recordings has allowed direct comparison between sensory nerve studies in animals and human, as well as important advances in our understanding of the ion channels that underpin the changes in sensory nerve excitability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / drug therapy*
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / innervation*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / metabolism
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / drug effects
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / metabolism
  • Translational Medical Research*


  • Analgesics
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Potassium Channels
  • Sodium Channel Blockers
  • Sodium Channels
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels