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Papers of the Week

2020 May 04

Aging (Albany NY)


Osthole alleviates neuropathic pain in mice by inhibiting the P2Y-receptor-dependent JNK signaling pathway.


Li R, Dang S, Yao M, Zhao C, Zhang W, Cui J, Wang J, Wen A
Aging (Albany NY). 2020 May 04; 12.
PMID: 32365053.


There are many reports about natural products relieving neuralgia. Osthole is the main component of , a natural product that treats rheumatism through the elimination of inflammation and the alleviation of pain that has a long history in the clinic. The analgesic mechanism of osthole is complicated and confusing. Astrocytes have attracted increasing attention from pain researchers. Inhibitors targeting astrocytes are thought to be promising treatments for neuropathic pain. Whether osthole can alleviate neuropathic pain through astrocytes has not been elucidated in detail. In this study, CCI surgery was used to establish the neuropathic pain model in mice. The CCI mice were treated with osthole (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg/day) for 14 days . Mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia were measured to evaluate the therapeutic effect of osthole. In mechanism research, the activation of astrocytes; the protein expression of P2YR and p-JNK in astrocytes; the release of inflammatory factors; the variations in mEPSPs and eEPSPs; and the levels of GluA1, GluN2B, p-ERK, p-CREB and c-Fos in neurons were observed. The P2YR inhibitor MRS2179 and the p-JNK inhibitor SP600125 were used to demonstrate how osthole works in neuropathic pain. In addition, astrocytes and neurons were used to estimate the direct effect of osthole on astrocyte-neuron interactions and signal transmission . Our findings suggest that osthole treatment obviously relieved mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in CCI mice. P2YR is involved in CCI-induced pain hypersensitivity, and P2YR is required for osthole-induced p-JNK downregulation in the spinal cord. Osthole inhibited astrocyte activation and reduced inflammatory factor expression. After osthole treatment, mEPSP frequency and eEPSP amplitude were decreased in spinal lamina I-II neurons. Downstream signaling molecules such as pGluA1, pGluN2B, p-ERK, p-CREB and c-Fos were also reduced very quickly in osthole-treated neuralgic mice. Our conclusion is that osthole alleviates neuropathic pain in mice via the P2Y-receptor-dependent JNK signaling pathway in spinal astrocytes, and osthole could be considered a potential pharmacotherapy to alleviate neuropathic pain.