Effects of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) antagonist on neuropathic pain hypersensitivity in rats – A systematic review and meta-analysis

Olga A. Korczeniewska, Divya Kohli, Giannina Katzmann Rider, Carlos Zaror, Veronica Iturriaga, Rafael Benoliel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) has been investigated as a potential drug target for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The objective of the study was to systematically identify the effects of MC4R antagonists on hypersensitivity in rat models of neuropathic pain. A systematic search was conducted using the following databases: WoS, PubMed, SCOPUS, and MEDLINE. Inclusion criteria were: rat hypersensitivity induced by models of neuropathic pain with reported effects of MC4R antagonist. Two researchers performed the selection process and data extraction. SYRCLE risk of bias tool was used. Standard mean differences (SMD) were calculated and pooled by meta-analysis using random effect models. Ten articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The results reveal that, in animals exposed to neuropathic pain, administration of MC4R antagonists significantly increased paw withdrawal threshold (SHU9119 SMD = 1.67, 95% CI: [0.91, 2.44], I2 = 0%; HS014 SMD = 2.2, 95% CI: [0.53, 3.87], I2 = 71%) and heat withdrawal latency (HS014 SMD = 3.35, 95% CI: [0.56, 6.14], I2 = 83%) compared to vehicle-treated animals. MC4R antagonists are effective in the alleviation of hypersensitivity in rodent neuropathic pain models. SHU9119 and HS014 antagonists showed the most prominent results. However, further investigation is needed to determine the optimal dose and time of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12786
JournalEuropean Journal of Oral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


  • allodynia
  • hyperalgesia
  • nerve injury
  • rat neuropathic pain models


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