Indexed on: 23 May '18Published on: 23 May '18Published in: Molecular Pain
Background Oral administration of Bulleyaconitine A, an extracted diterpenoid alkaloid from Aconitum bulleyanum plants, is effective for treating chronic pain in rats and in human patients, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Results As the hyperexcitability of dorsal root ganglion neurons resulting from the upregulation of voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels has been proved critical for development of chronic pain, we tested the effects of Bulleyaconitine A on Nav channels in rat spared nerve injury model of neuropathic pain. We found that Bulleyaconitine A at 5 nM increased the threshold of action potentials and reduced the firing rate of dorsal root ganglion neurons in spared nerve injury rats but not in sham rats. Bulleyaconitine A preferably blocked tetrodotoxin-sensitive Nav channels over tetrodotoxin-resistant ones in dorsal root ganglion neurons of spared nerve injury rats. Bulleyaconitine A was more potent for blocking Nav1.3 and Nav1.7 than Nav1.8 in cell lines. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC) values for resting Nav1.3, Nav1.7, and Nav1.8 were 995.6 ± 139.1 nM, 125.7 ± 18.6 nM, and 151.2 ± 15.4 μM, respectively, which were much higher than those for inactivated Nav1.3 (20.3 ± 3.4 pM), Nav1.7 (132.9 ± 25.5 pM), and Nav1.8 (18.0 ± 2.5 μM). The most profound use-dependent blocking effect of Bulleyaconitine A was observed on Nav1.7, less on Nav1.3, and least on Nav1.8 at IC concentrations. Bulleyaconitine A facilitated the inactivation of Nav channels in each subtype. Conclusions Preferably blocking tetrodotoxin-sensitive Nav1.7 and Nav1.3 in dorsal root ganglion neurons may contribute to Bulleyaconitine A's antineuropathic pain effect.