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Papers of the Week

2021 Jun

Chin J Nat Med



Piperine treating sciatica through regulating inflammation and MiR-520a/P65 pathway.


Yu J-W, Li S, Bao L-D, Wang L
Chin J Nat Med. 2021 Jun; 19(6):412-421.
PMID: 34092292.


Although the etiology of sciatica remains uncertain, there is increasing evidence that the disease process of sciatica is associated with the levels of inflammatory factors. Piperine, an alkaloid isolated from Piper nigrum, has previously been demonstrated to inhibit inflammation and analgesic effects. The purpose of this study is to verify the regulatory relationship between miR-520a and p65 and to explore how miR-520a/P65 affects the level of cytokines under the action of piperine, so as to play a therapeutic role in sciatica. Through ELISA experiment, we confirmed that four inflammatory factors (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-10, TGF-β1) can be used as evaluation indexes of sciatica. The differentially expressed miRNA was screened as miR-520a, by microarray technology, and the downstream target of miR-520a was P65 by bioinformatics. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR confirmed that the expression of miR-520a was negatively correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokines, positively correlated with anti-inflammatory cytokines and negatively correlated with p65 expression at mRNA level. The expression of p65 was positively correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokines and negatively correlated with anti-inflammatory cytokines at the protein level verified by ELISA and Western blot. HE staining analysis showed that the nerve fibers were repaired by piprine, the vacuoles were significantly reduced, and the degree of nerve fiber damage was also improved. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the expression of p65 decreased after administration of piperine. Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay confirmed that the luciferase signal decreased significantly after cotransfection of miR-520a mimics and p65 3'UTR recombinant plasmid. To sum up, in the rat model of non-compressed lumbar disc herniation, piperine plays a significant role in analgesia. MiR-520a can specifically and directly target P65, and piperine can promote the expression of miR-520a, then inhibit the expression of p65, down-regulate the pro-inflammatory factors IL-1β and TNF-α, and up-regulate the effects of anti-inflammatory factors IL-10 and TGF-β1, so as to treat sciatica.