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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Sep 2022 - 16 Sep 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Dec

IBRO Neurosci Rep


Kratom alkaloid mitragynine: Inhibition of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice is dependent on sex and active adrenergic and opioid receptors.


Mitragynine (MG) is an alkaloid found in (kratom) that is used as an herbal remedy for pain relief and opioid withdrawal. MG acts at μ-opioid and α-adrenergic receptors in vitro but the physiological relevance of this activity in the context of neuropathic pain remains unknown. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the effects of MG in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), and to investigate the potential impact of sex on MG's therapeutic efficacy. Inhibition of oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity was measured following intraperitoneal administration of MG. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice were used to characterize potential sex-differences in MG's therapeutic efficacy. Pharmacological mechanisms of MG were characterized through pretreatment with the opioid and adrenergic antagonists naltrexone, prazosin, yohimbine, and propranolol (1, 2.5, 5 mg/kg). Oxaliplatin produced significant mechanical allodynia of equal magnitude in both male and females, which was dose-dependently attenuated by repeated MG exposure. MG was more potent in males vs females, and the highest dose of MG (10 mg/kg) exhibited greater anti-allodynic efficacy in males. Mechanistically, activity at µ-opioid, α- and α-adrenergic receptors, but not β-adrenergic receptors contributed to the effects of MG against oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Repeated MG exposure significantly attenuated oxaliplatin-induced mechanical hypersensitivity with greater potency and efficacy in males, which has crucial implications in the context of individualized pain management. The opioid and adrenergic components of MG indicate that it shares pharmacological properties with clinical neuropathic pain treatments.