Ethanolic Extract of Aconiti Brachypodi Radix Attenuates Nociceptive Pain Probably Via Inhibition of Voltage-Dependent Na+ Channel

  • W Ren
  • L Yuan
  • J Li
  • XJ Huang
  • S Chen
  • DJ Zou
  • X Liu
  • XZ Yang
Keywords: Aconiti Brachypodi Radix, analgesic effect, dorsal root ganglion, sodium channel

Abstract

Aconiti Brachypodi Radix, belonging to the genus of Aconitum (Family Ranunculaceae), are used clinically as anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive in traditional medicine of China. However, its mechanism and influence on nociceptive threshold are unknown and need further investigation. The analgesic effects of ethanolic extract of Aconiti Brachypodi Radix (EABR) were thus studied in vivo and in vitro. Three pain models in mice were used to assess the effect of EABR on nociceptive threshold. In vitro study was conducted to clarify the modulation of the extract on the tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) sodium currents in rat’s dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using whole-cell patch clamp technique. The results showed that EABR (5-20 mg/kg, i.g.) could produce dose-dependent analgesic effect on hot-plate tests as well as writhing response induced by acetic acid. In addition, administration of 2.5-10 mg/kg EABR (i.g.) caused significant decrease in pain responses in the first and second phases of formalin test without altering the PGE2 production in the hind paw of the mice. Moreover, EABR (10 μg/ml -1 mg/ml) could suppress TTX-S voltage-gated sodium currents in a dose-dependent way, indicating the underlying electrophysiological mechanism of the analgesic effect of the folk plant medicine. Collectively, our results indicated that EABR has analgesic property in three pain models and useful influence on TTX-S sodium currents in DRG neurons, suggesting that the interference with pain messages caused by the modulation of EABR on TTX-S sodium currents in DRG neurones may explain some of its analgesic effect.
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