D-Aspartic acid ameliorates painful and neuropsychiatric changes and reduces β-amyloid Aβ1-42 peptide in a long lasting model of neuropathic pain

Antimo D'Aniello, Livio Luongo, Rosaria Romano, Monica Iannotta, Ida Marabese, Serena Boccella, Carmela Belardo, Vito de Novellis, Claudio Arra, Antonio Barbieri, Biagio D'Aniello, Anna Scandurra, Laura Migliozzi, George Fisher, Francesca Guida, Sabatino Maione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Depressive symptoms and other neuropsychiatric dysfunctions are common in neurodegenerative disorders, including chronic pain and dementia. A correlation between the β-amyloid protein accumulation and the development of depression has been suggested, however the underlying mechanisms are unknown. D-Aspartate (D-Asp) is a free D-amino acid found in the mammalian brain and involved in neurological and psychiatric processes, such as cognition and affective disorders. In this study we have investigated the effects of a repeated treatment with D-Asp in a long-lasting (12 months) model of neuropathic pain, the spared nerve injury (SNI), in mice. Specifically, we evaluated i) the pain sensitivity and related emotional/cognitive dysfunctions induced by SNI, ii) possible changes in the β-amyloid protein accumulation in specific brain regions involved in pain mechanisms ii) possible changes in steroids level in neuropathic animals with or without D-Asp in the same brain areas. SNI mice showed an increase of the insoluble form of Aβ1-42 at hippocampal level and displayed cognitive impairments, stereotypical and depressive-like behaviours. D-Asp treatment reduced abnormal behaviours and normalized the β-amyloid protein expression. Moreover, D-Asp dramatically increased steroids level measured in the prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus. Our findings provide new insights into pain mechanisms and suggest a possible role of β-amyloid protein in neuropsychiatric dysfunctions associated with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2017


  • Depression
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuropathic pain
  • β-amyloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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