Material basis for inhibition of Dragon's Blood on evoked discharges of wide dynamic range neurons in spinal dorsal horn of rats

Sci China C Life Sci. 2008 Nov;51(11):1025-38. doi: 10.1007/s11427-008-0133-6. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


In vivo experiments were designed to verify the analgesic effect of Dragon's Blood and the material basis for this effect. Extracellular microelectrode recordings were used to observe the effects of Dragon's Blood and various combinations of the three components (cochinchinenin A, cochinchinenin B, and loureirin B) extracted from Dragon's Blood on the discharge activities of wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons in spinal dorsal horn (SDH) of intact male Wistar rats evoked by electric stimulation at sciatic nerve. When the Hill's coefficients describing the dose-response relations of drugs were different, based on the concept of dose equivalence, the equations of additivity surfaces which can be applied to assess the interaction between three drugs were derived. Adopting the equations and Tallarida's isobole equations used to assess the interaction between two drugs with dissimilar dose-response relations, the effects produced by various combinations of the three components in modulating the evoked discharge activities of WDR neurons were evaluated. Results showed that Dragon's Blood and its three components could inhibit the evoked discharge frequencies of WDR neurons in a concentration-dependent way. The Hill's coefficients describing dose-response relations of three components were different. Only the combined effect of cochinchinenin A, cochinchinenin B and loureirin B was similar to that of Dragons Blood. Furthermore, the combined effect was synergistic. This investigation demonstrated that through the synergistic interaction of the three components Dragon's Blood could interfere with the transmission and processing of pain signals in spinal dorsal horn. All these further proved that the combination of cochinchinenin A, cochinchinenin B, and loureirin B was the material basis for the analgesic effect of Dragon's Blood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Chalcone / administration & dosage
  • Chalcone / analogs & derivatives
  • Chalcone / isolation & purification
  • Chalcone / pharmacology
  • Drug Synergism
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Posterior Horn Cells / drug effects*
  • Posterior Horn Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resins, Plant / administration & dosage
  • Resins, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Resins, Plant / pharmacology
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiology


  • Analgesics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Resins, Plant
  • cochinchinenin
  • Chalcone
  • dragon's blood
  • loureirin B