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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Sep 2023 - 15 Sep 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Sep 12

Mol Pain


Xanthohumol relieves arthritis pain in mice by suppressing mitochondrial-mediated inflammation.


Wang Q, Chen T, Shuqing Z, Yu L, Chen S, Lu H, Zhu H, Min X, Li X, Liu L


Chronic pain is the most common symptom for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and it affects approximately 1% of the global population. Neuroinflammation in the spinal cord induces chronic arthritis pain. In this study, a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice model was established through intradermally injection of type II collagen in complete Freund’s adjuvant solution. Following CIA inducement, the paws and ankles of mice were found to swell, mechanical pain and spontaneous pain were induced, and their motor coordination was impaired. The spinal inflammatory reaction was triggered, which presented as severe infiltration of inflammatory cells, and the expression levels of GFAP, IL-1β, NLRP3, and cleaved caspase-1 increased. Oxidative stress in the spinal cord of CIA mice was manifested as reduced Nrf2 and NDUFB11 expression and SOD activity, and increased levels of DHODH and Cyto-C. At the same time, spinal AMPK activity was decreased. In order to explore the potential therapeutic options for arthritic pain, Xanthohumol (Xn) was intraperitoneally injected into mice for three consecutive days. Xn treatment was found to reduce the number of spontaneous flinches, in addition to elevating mechanical pain thresholds and increasing latency time. At the same time, Xn treatment in the spinal cord reduced NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammation, increased the Nrf2-mediated antioxidant response, and decreased mitochondrial ROS level. In addition, Xn was found to bind with AMPK via two electrovalent bonds and increased AMPK phosphorylation at Thr174. In summary, the findings indicate that Xn treatment activates AMPK, increases Nrf2-mediated antioxidant response, reduces Drp1-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, suppresses neuroinflammation, and can serve to relieve arthritis pain.