Analgesic effects of p38 kinase inhibitor treatment on bone fracture healing

Jessica A. Cottrell, Markus Meyenhofer, Satyanarayana Medicherla, Linda Higgins, J. Patrick O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Traditional and COX-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatment inhibits fracture healing in animal models. This indicates that either the inflammatory phase following a bone fracture is necessary for efficient or sufficient bone regeneration to heal the fracture or COX-2 may have a specific function during bone regeneration unrelated to inflammation. These observations also indicate that NSAID use during fracture healing may be contra-indicated. Thus, identification of different analgesics for fracture pain or other orthopaedic surgical procedures would be of significant clinical benefit. Inhibitors of p38 kinase also have significant analgesic properties. However, p38 kinase is a critical regulator of inflammation. To assess the potential use of p38 kinase inhibition as a therapeutic strategy to manage fracture pain, the analgesic properties of SCIO-469, a p38α kinase inhibitor, were assessed in a rat fracture model and compared to other common analgesics. In addition, the effects of SCIO-469 treatment on ultimate fracture healing outcomes were measured by radiography and torsional mechanical testing. The data indicate that SCIO-469 was an effective analgesic. No adverse events related to fracture healing were observed in rats treated with SCIO-469. Immunohistochemistry showed that p38 kinase is activated primarily in the first days following a fracture. These observations suggest that p38α kinase inhibition may be an effective therapeutic strategy to manage orthopaedic-related pain. These observations also indicate that COX-2 has a specific function during bone regeneration other than promoting inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-126
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


  • Analgesia
  • Animal model
  • Bone regeneration
  • Fracture healing
  • Pain management
  • Pain model
  • p38 kinase


Dive into the research topics of 'Analgesic effects of p38 kinase inhibitor treatment on bone fracture healing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this