Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of sulforaphane on sciatic endometriosis in a rat model

Neurosci Lett. 2020 Apr 1;723:134858. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2020.134858. Epub 2020 Feb 22.


Endometriosis of sciatic nerve is a common gynecological disease. Here we aimed to study the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive role of sulforaphane on sciatic nerve endometriosis. The sciatic nerve endometriosis rat model was constructed by autologous implantation of uterine tissue. Sulforaphane was administered intraperitoneally at the dose of 5, 15, 30 and 60 mg/kg/day for 28 days. Behavioral testing was performed at day 7, 14, 21 and 28. At day 28, rats were sacrificed, followed by collecting superficial dorsal horn tissues and lesions. Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot were performed to assess COX2, Keap1, Nrf2 expression in collected tissues. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was conducted to assess the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Sulforaphane alleviated pain of sciatic endometriosis as evidenced by the increase in paw withdrawal threshold and paw withdrawal latency. Sulforaphane also inhibited ectopic endometrial tissue growth in sciatic endometriosis rat, shown as the shrinkage of lesion size and decreased VEGF levels. IL6, IL-1β and TNF-α levels were decreased by sulforaphane. Sulforaphane induced DOX2 and INOS suppression and Keap1 and Nrf2 upregulation. Sulforaphane alleviates pain induced by sciatic endometriosis, which is mediated by inhibiting inflammation.

Keywords: Inflammation; Keap1; Nrf2; Sciatic nerve endometriosis; Sulforaphane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy*
  • Endometriosis / metabolism
  • Female
  • Inflammation Mediators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology
  • Isothiocyanates / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sciatic Nerve / drug effects*
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism
  • Sulfoxides / pharmacology
  • Sulfoxides / therapeutic use*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • sulforaphane