Ephedra Herb extract activates/desensitizes transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and reduces capsaicin-induced pain

In this study, the effects of EH extract (EHE) on transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a nonselective ligand-gated cation channel, which plays an essential role in nociception on sensory neurons, were investigated using mTRPV1/Flp-In293 cells (stable mouse TRPV1-expressing transfectants). Administration of EHE increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in these cells, which was inhibited by the TRPV1 antagonist,N-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-1,2-dihydro-4-(3-chloropyridine-2-yl) tetrahydropyrazine-1-carboxamide (BCTC), indicating that EHE activated TRPV1. Examination of EHE-induced nociceptive pain in vivo revealed that an intradermal (i.d.) injection of EHE into the hind paw of mice induced paw licking, a pain-related behavior, and that the extract increased paw licking times in a dose-dependent manner. The EHE-induced paw licking was also inhibited by BCTC. An i.d. injection of EHE 30  min before administration of capsaicin decreased capsaicin-induced paw licking times. Similarly, oral administration of the extract also suppressed capsaicin-induced paw licking, without affecting the physical performance of the mice. These results suggest that EHE suppresses capsaicin-induced paw licking by regulating TRPV1 activity. Thus, the antinociceptive effects of EHE seem to be produced by its direct action on sensory neurons through TRPV1.
Source: Journal of Natural Medicines - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: research

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