Learn more about how Pfizer and Lilly are responding to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Is One of the Key Drivers of Chronic Pain In Conditions Such As Osteoarthritis (OA)1

NGF and other biochemical mediators, including IL-1β, PGE2, IL-6, and TNFα, play an important role in the pain pathway.1-4

The inhibition of NGF is an area of study in patients with chronic OA pain.1

IL=interleukin; NGF=nerve growth factor; PGE=prostaglandin; TNF=tumor necrosis factor.

Link copied to clipboard

Who is affected by chronic pain in conditions such as OA?

Approximately 300 million adults worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.5 Pain is a common symptom of OA and can impact patients, reducing functional capabilities, which can limit their ability to do activities of daily living.6

What happens at the site of pain?

In response to injury or inflammation, cells at the site of pain release a variety of biochemical mediators, including NGF.1

What is NGF?

NGF is a mediator which, when released at the site of injury or inflammation, binds to and activates sensory nerves in the periphery.1

What is peripheral sensitization?

Increases in the levels of these biochemical mediators, including NGF, can enhance pain signaling in the peripheral nervous system, a state known as peripheral sensitization.2,7

What leads to chronic pain?

Peripheral sensitization may lead to central sensitization, which can exacerbate chronic pain. With central sensitization, the chemistry of sensory neurons in the central nervous system is altered, changing how pain signals are processed. As a result, neurons in the pain pathway in the central nervous system remain in a persistent state of high reactivity, resulting in heightened perceptions of pain.2, 8-​​​​10

What are areas of study in chronic pain conditions, such as OA?

Biochemical mediators play an important role in the pain pathway.1-4 Inhibition of NGF is an area of study in patients with chronic OA pain.1


  • Association of Women in Rheumatology (AWIR) National Conference

    August 13-16

  • World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (WCO-IOF-ESCEO)

    August 20-23

  • 10th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain (WIP)

    August 26-29

  • Pri-Med West CME/CE Conference

    September 2-5

  • PAINWeek Conference

    September 8-12

References: 1. Mantyh PW, et al. Anesthesiology. 2011;115:189-204. 2. McGreevy K, et al. Eur J Pain Suppl. 2011;5:365-372. 3. National Pharmaceutical Council; Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. http://www.npcnow.org/publication/pain-currentunderstanding-assessment-management-and-treatments. Accessed June 16, 2020. 4. Breivik H, et al. Eur J Pain. 2006;10:287-333. 5. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1789-1858. 6. Neogi T. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013;21:1145-1153. 7. Pinho-Ribeiro FA, et al. Trends Immunol. 2017;38:5-19. 8. Mirchandani A, et al. In: Vadivelu N, eds. Essentials of Pain Management. New York, NY: Springer; 2011:45-54. 9. Woolf CJ. Pain. 2011;152(suppl 3):S2-S15. 10. Merskey H, Bogduk N. Classification of Chronic Pain: Descriptions of Chronic Pain Syndromes and Definitions of Pain Terms. http://www.iasp-pain.org/PublicationsNews/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=1673. Accessed June 16, 2020.