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The Traditional Japanese Medicine Hangeshashinto Alleviates Oral Ulcer-Induced Pain in a Rat Model


The Traditional Japanese Medicine Hangeshashinto Alleviates Oral Ulcer-Induced Pain in a Rat Model

Suzuro Hitomi et al. Arch Oral Biol.


Objective: Recent studies have demonstrated that mouthwash made with the traditional Japanese medicine hangeshashinto exhibits anti-inflammatory action and alleviates oral mucositis scores, including pain complaints, in patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy. However, no study has demonstrated the mechanism underlying how hangeshashinto provides pain relief in oral ulcers.

Design: The analgesic effects on pain-related behaviors following the topical application of hangeshashinto were evaluated in an oral ulcer rat model treated with acetic acid using recently developed methods. Indomethacin, the representative anti-inflammatory agent, was intraperitoneally administered. The tissue permeability of the oral mucosa was histologically evaluated after applying the fluorescent substance FluoroGold.

Results: The topical application of hangeshashinto in ulcerative oral mucosa suppressed mechanical pain hypersensitivity over 60 min, without any effects on healthy mucosa. The same drug application also inhibited oral ulcer-induced spontaneous pain. Indomethacin administration failed to block the mechanical pain hypersensitivity, though it did largely block spontaneous pain. Topical anesthesia with lidocaine showed hyposensitivity to mechanical stimulation in healthy mucosa. In the ulcer regions in which the oral epithelial barrier was destroyed, deep parenchyma was stained with FluoroGold, in contrast to healthy oral mucosa, in which staining was limiting to the superficial site.

Conclusions: Hangeshashinto leads to long-lasting analgesic effects, specifically in the ulcer region by destroying the epithelial barrier. Hangeshashinto alleviates oral ulcer-induced pain in inflammation-dependent and/or independent manner.

Keywords: Mechanical pain hypersensitivity; Mouth mucosa; Oral pain; Oral ulcer; Traditional Japanese (kampo) medicine.

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