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Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 17

Eur J Pharmacol


Purpurin ameliorated neuropathic allodynia and hyperalgesia by modulating neuronal mitochondrial bioenergetics and redox status in type 1 diabetic mice.


Chen W, Wu JY, Fan YY, Li BL, Yuan HB, Zhao X


A substantial proportion of diabetic patients suffer a debilitating and persistent pain state, known as peripheral painful neuropathy that necessitates improved therapy or antidote. Purpurin, a natural anthraquinone compound from Rubia tinctorum L., has been reported to possess antidepressant activity in preclinical studies. As antidepressants have been typically used as standard agents against persistent neuropathic pain, this study aimed to probe the effect of purpurin on neuropathic pain associated with streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetes in male C57BL6J mice. The Hargreaves test and the von Frey test were used to assess the pain-like behaviors, shown as heat hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia respectively. Chronic treatment of diabetic mice with purpurin not only ameliorated the established symptoms of heat hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, but also arrested the development of these pain states given preemptively at low doses. Although purpurin treatment hardly impacted on metabolic disturbance in diabetic mice, it ameliorated exacerbated oxidative stress in pain-associated tissues, improved mitochondrial bioenergetics in dorsal root ganglion neurons and restored nerve conduction velocity in sciatic nerves. Notably, the analgesic actions of purpurin were modified by pharmacologically manipulating redox status and mitochondrial bioenergetics. These findings unveil the analgesic activity of purpurin, an effect that is causally associated with its bioenergetics-enhancing and antioxidant effects, in mice with type 1 diabetes.