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. 2018 Dec;72:30-37.
doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Puerarin Alleviate Radicular Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation by Inhibiting ERK-dependent Spinal Microglia Activation

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Puerarin Alleviate Radicular Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation by Inhibiting ERK-dependent Spinal Microglia Activation

Yi Zhong et al. Neuropeptides. .

Abstract

Lumbar disc herniation is a common cause of radicular pain, but the mechanism remains ambiguous and the treatment stays unsatisfied. Many studies revealed a traditional Chinese medicine puerarin may moderate chronic pain from diabetes and nerve injury. Thus far, the role and mechanism of puerarin in radicular pain is still unknown. In this study, by using a rat model of lumbar disc herniation, which was induced by autologous nucleus pulposus (NP) implantation, the analgesic effect of puerarin on radicular pain was tested. Puerarin was delivered intraperitoneally form 1 h before surgery, and once daily for 7 days. The results demonstrated that NP implantation induced long-lasting pain, characterized by decrease of paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and paw withdrawal latency (PWL) in ipsilateral hindpaws, as long as day 20 after surgery. Spinal phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) was up-regulated from day 5 to day 20 after surgery in ipsilateral but not contralateral side, and p-ERK was mainly co-localized with microglia. Puerarin decreased p-ERK expression from day 7 to day 20 after surgery. Puerarin or ERK inhibitor PD98059 alleviated pain behaviors, decreased expression of microglia marker ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1) in rats with NP implantation. The results suggested puerarin may alleviate radicular pain by inhibiting ERK-dependent or accompanied spinal microglia activation.

Keywords: ERK; Lumbar disc herniation; Microglia; Puerarin; Radicular pain.

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