Background: Despite a wide variety of current analgesia regimens, chronic pain is an incredibly
difficult condition to treat. Its pathophysiology, initiation, development and course involve a
range of different receptors and transmitters. The acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are being attributed
to an increasingly larger significance in pain aetiology. Over the last few years, the mechanism of
ASICs action, influence of their antagonists/agonists and clinical applications have been well described.
However, the importance of this protein is significantly larger, not only from the perspective
of pain management, but also in psychiatry of addiction or fear. Recently discovered peptides from
three-finger toxin group, called mambalgins (isolated from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepsis) exhibit
potent analgesic mechanisms of action on ASICs in animal model.
Aims & Methods: The article reviews current knowledge in the field of mambalgins and assesses their
potential analgesic application, based on the recent experimental evidence.
Results: The mambalgins seem to decrease the intensity of the inflammatory, neuropathic and mechanic
pain. This has been demonstrated in animal studies of different pain models, including carrageenan-
induced inflammatory pain, chronic constrictive injury-induced neuropathic pain and thermal
pain. The mechanism of mambalgin action is not clearly defined, but it is suspected that they bind
directly to the pH-sensitive region of the ASIC.
Conclusion: In this short review, we attempted to summarise the current knowledge about mambalgins
and their potential applications as a new substance in searching for the ideal analgesia without
common side effects of the other drug groups.