Neuropathic pain seriously affects life quality, and it is urgent to develop novel drugs with high efficacy and few side effects. Sanguinarine (SG) is a natural plant medicine with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotection effects. This study aimed to investigate the effect of SG on chronic constriction injury (CCI)-induced neuropathic pain.
CCI rat model was established and rats were randomly divided into sham group, sham + SG group (6.25 mg/kg), CCI group, CCI + SG group (1.00, 2.50 and 6.25 mg/kg). The mechanical sensitivity and heat hypersensitivity of rats were monitored at different time points. Immunohistochemical, PCR, Western blot and ELISA were used to analyze p-p38 MAPK, NF-κB p65, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels.
The mechanical sensitivity and heat hypersensitivity significantly reduced in rats of CCI group, but significantly increased in rats of CCI+SG group. TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels significantly increased in the spinal cord of CCI rats, but significantly decreased in rats of CCI+SG group. In addition, p38 MAPK activator antagonized beneficial effects of SG on neuropathic pain. Overexpression of p38 MAPK reduced the mechanical sensitivity and heat hypersensitivity, and enhanced NF-κB activity and the expression of inflammatory factors in CCI rats.