Abstract Title:

Selective suppression of microglial activation by paeoniflorin attenuates morphine tolerance.

Abstract Source:

Eur J Pain. 2015 Aug ;19(7):908-19. Epub 2014 Nov 16. PMID: 25400125

Abstract Author(s):

C Jiang, L Xu, L Chen, Y Han, J Tang, Y Yang, G Zhang, W Liu

Article Affiliation:

C Jiang


BACKGROUND: The development of antinociceptive tolerance following repetitive administration of opioid analgesics significantly hinders their clinical use. Evidence has accumulated indicating that microglia within the spinal cord play a critical role in morphine tolerance. The present study investigated the effects and possible mechanisms of a natural compound, paeoniflorin, in morphine tolerance via its specific inhibition of microglial activation.

METHODS: The microglia cell line BV-2 was used. Cytokine expression was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Cell signalling was assayed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Nociception was assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats and CD-1 mice using Hargreaves' methods or the hot-plate test, respectively.

RESULTS: (1) Morphine induces robust BV-2 cell activation, as evidenced by increased p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, nuclear factor (NF)-κB translocation and proinflammatory cytokine expression. These changes are inhibited by paeoniflorin. (2) Co-administration of paeoniflorin with morphine potentiates morphine antinociception by inhibiting p38 MAPK/NF-κB signalling in the spinal cord. (3) Co-administration of paeoniflorin suppresses morphine-increased expression of toll-like receptor-4 both in BV-2 cells and within the spinal cord following chronic morphine treatment.

CONCLUSION: Paeoniflorin directly suppresses morphine-induced microglial activation and thus results in potentiation of morphine acute analgesia and attenuation of morphine chronic antinociceptive tolerance.

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Sayer Ji
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