Original Article

Antinociceptive effect of astragalosides and its mechanism of action

Authors: Qin Yang, Jing-Tao Lu, Ai-Wu Zhou, Bing Wang, Guo-Wei He, Min-Zhu Chen

Abstract

Aim: To study the effect and mechanism of astragalosides (AST) related to the antinociceptive activity.
Methods: The standardized formalin test was performed to induce the direct stimulation of nociceptors followed by inflammatory process in the Kunming strain mice. The involvement of opioid and nitric oxide was studied by subcutaneous injection of morphine with/without naloxone 30 min before formalin test, or peritoneal injection of L-arginine with/without L-NAME 20 min before formalin.
Results: AST 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg significantly lowered pain score of the second phase of formalin response as compared with control group (P<0.01). The maximum analgesic effect of AST 40 mg/kg was found at 4 h after the administration of AST (34.4 % inhibition at the second phase). Injection of morphine 5 mg/kg significantly inhibited pain response of both phases (P<0.01) and this was reversed by naloxone 2 mg/kg (P<0.01). However, naloxone did not alter the effect of AST on the second phase. Antinociceptive effect of AST 40 mg/kg was partially blocked by L-arginine 400 or 800 mg/kg (P<0.01).
Conclusion: AST has an antinociceptive effect on formalin test in mice that is not mediated by the endogenous opioid system but related to its inhibitory effect on the production of NO.
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