Research Topic

Analgesic Efficacy of Botulinum Neurotoxin

About this Research Topic

Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a diverse group of highly potent 150 kDa proteins produced in nature by the gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum and few related species. The group includes at least eight immunologically distinct BoNT serotypes (A though G, and X), which comprise over 40 subtypes. All BoNTs consist of a 100 kDa heavy chain and a 50 kDa light chain connected by a disulfide bond. BoNTs intoxicate nerve cells by binding to cell-surface receptors and initiating endocytosis, followed by translocation into the cell cytosol. This allows BoNT to cleave members of the SNARE protein family and, consequently, inhibit vesicular release of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine. For over three decades a long-lasting interruption of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction by BoNT has been used to achieve a safe and effective treatment in a range of neurological conditions associated with muscle hyperactivity. Following studies in animals demonstrating inhibition of pain transmitters both at peripheral and central levels, BoNTs have been explored rapidly in a growing range of human pain conditions as potential analgesic agents.

In this Research Topic, internationally renowned investigators, will review clinical evidence on analgesic efficacy of BoNT in a range of pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, lower back pain, post-surgical pain and pelvic pain. Also, the Research Topic will bring leaders in the field of pre-clinical studies, with the aim to review the current understanding of the mechanisms of analgesic activity of BoNT and to show activity in human-relevant animal models, with the aim to identify new therapeutic opportunities. Finally, this Research Topic will welcome studies on analgesic activity of novel, recombinant and modified neurotoxins, developed with the aim to improve the analgesic properties of natural BoNT.

Therefore, for this Research Topic we welcome manuscript submissions on the following topics:

• Activity of BoNT in neuropathic pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in low back pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in post-surgical pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in bone and joint-related pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in pelvic and bladder pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in cancer related pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in pain associated with spasticity and dystonia (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in head and face pain (clinical evidence)
• A review of the mechanisms of analgesic efficacy of BoNT
• Activity of BoNT in human-relevant animal models of pain
• Activity of modified, recombinant BoNT in pain

We would like to acknowledge that Dr. Matthew Beard, Ipsen Bioinnovation, UK, has acted as a coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal for this Research Topic.

Topic Editor Mikhail Kalinichev is employed by Ipsen Innovation. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a diverse group of highly potent 150 kDa proteins produced in nature by the gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum and few related species. The group includes at least eight immunologically distinct BoNT serotypes (A though G, and X), which comprise over 40 subtypes. All BoNTs consist of a 100 kDa heavy chain and a 50 kDa light chain connected by a disulfide bond. BoNTs intoxicate nerve cells by binding to cell-surface receptors and initiating endocytosis, followed by translocation into the cell cytosol. This allows BoNT to cleave members of the SNARE protein family and, consequently, inhibit vesicular release of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine. For over three decades a long-lasting interruption of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction by BoNT has been used to achieve a safe and effective treatment in a range of neurological conditions associated with muscle hyperactivity. Following studies in animals demonstrating inhibition of pain transmitters both at peripheral and central levels, BoNTs have been explored rapidly in a growing range of human pain conditions as potential analgesic agents.

In this Research Topic, internationally renowned investigators, will review clinical evidence on analgesic efficacy of BoNT in a range of pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, lower back pain, post-surgical pain and pelvic pain. Also, the Research Topic will bring leaders in the field of pre-clinical studies, with the aim to review the current understanding of the mechanisms of analgesic activity of BoNT and to show activity in human-relevant animal models, with the aim to identify new therapeutic opportunities. Finally, this Research Topic will welcome studies on analgesic activity of novel, recombinant and modified neurotoxins, developed with the aim to improve the analgesic properties of natural BoNT.

Therefore, for this Research Topic we welcome manuscript submissions on the following topics:

• Activity of BoNT in neuropathic pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in low back pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in post-surgical pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in bone and joint-related pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in pelvic and bladder pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in cancer related pain (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in pain associated with spasticity and dystonia (clinical evidence)
• Activity of BoNT in head and face pain (clinical evidence)
• A review of the mechanisms of analgesic efficacy of BoNT
• Activity of BoNT in human-relevant animal models of pain
• Activity of modified, recombinant BoNT in pain

We would like to acknowledge that Dr. Matthew Beard, Ipsen Bioinnovation, UK, has acted as a coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal for this Research Topic.

Topic Editor Mikhail Kalinichev is employed by Ipsen Innovation. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

19 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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