Chakraborty Publishes Kratom Research in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Published on 10 December 2021
Two articles featuring breakthrough kratom-related research conducted by Soumen Chakraborty, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, were published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry this fall.
For the past three years, Chakraborty has been working in the laboratory of Susruta Majumdar, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, to investigate the mechanisms of action of kratom and their potential to serve as safer pain relief agents.
Through his latest work, Chakraborty and his colleagues have been focused on identifying metabolites of kratom alkaloids, which mediate its pain relieving actions. The team has also been working to identify newer analogs through the diversification of kratom’s major active alkaloid, mitragynine.
Chakraborty’s new research indicates that the metabolism of mitragynine in mice leads to the formation of a potent mu opioid receptor agonist capable of treating severe acute pain without the negative side effects associated with traditional opioid pain relievers.
“Through our efforts in the lab, we were able to extract mitragynine from kratom and create a compound, named SC13, that provides significant pain relief without side effects like constipation or respiratory depression which are common with the use of morphine,” Chakraborty explained. “The results of our research indicate that the oxidative metabolism of the mitragynine template beyond 7OH mitragynine may have implications in its overall pharmacology in animal models.”
Chakraborty notes that work will continue on the project in the coming months to further examine the side effect profiles of the compounds.
“My team is proud of the work we’ve done and are continuing to do, and it was very exciting to have our research published twice in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,” Chakraborty said. “As a postdoctoral researcher, these papers mark my second time being published in a major scientific journal during my time at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, so for me, this is a reason to celebrate.”
Established in August 2015, the Center for Clinical Pharmacology is a partnership between University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The center continues to diversify with faculty investigators currently engaged a variety of diverse research areas. Click here to learn more.