Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Repurposing a leukocyte elastase inhibitor for neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is a debilitating condition affecting millions of people worldwide. A new study investigates mechanisms of neuropathic pain initiation and identifies a promising therapeutic currently used for acute respiratory distress syndrome that may also limit acute neuropathic pain.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Vicuña et al. show that upon peripheral nerve injury, T cells infiltrate the dorsal root ganglion.

Kim Caesar/Nature Publishing Group


  1. International Association for the Study of Pain. Epidemiology of neuropathic pain: how common is neuropathic pain, and what is its impact? (IASP, 2015).

  2. Baron, R., Binder, A. & Wasner, G. Lancet Neurol. 9, 807–819 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Finnerup, N.B. et al. Lancet 14, 162–173 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Cohen, S.P. & Mao, J. Br. Med. J. 348, f7656 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Vicuña, L. et al. Nat. Med. 21, 518–523 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Aikawa, N. & Kawasaki, Y. Ther. Clin. Risk Manag. 10, 621–629 (2014).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Zeiher, B.G. et al. Crit. Care Med. 32, 1695–1702 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Finnerup, N.B. et al. Eur. J. Pain 17, 953–956 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Berufsverband der Ärtze und Psychologischen Psychotherapeutan in der Schmerz- und Palliativmedizin in Deutschland (BVSD). Weißbuch Schmerzmedizin [White Book on Pain Medicine] (BVSD, 2012).

  10. Von Hehn, C.A., Baron, R. & Woolf, C.J. Neuron 73, 638–652 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cheryl L Stucky.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Weyer, A., Stucky, C. Repurposing a leukocyte elastase inhibitor for neuropathic pain. Nat Med 21, 429–430 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing