International Journal of Medical Sciences
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24 July 2014

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Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(4):377-381. doi:10.7150/ijms.5224

Research Paper

Curcumin Attenuates Diabetic Neuropathic Pain by Downregulating TNF-α in a Rat Model

Yue Li1*, Yong Zhang2,3*, De-bao Liu1, Hai-ying Liu1, Wu-gang Hou4✉, Yu-shu Dong5✉

1. Department of air logistics, the 463 Hospital of PLA, Shenyang 110042, PR China.
2. Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
3. Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, PR China.
4. Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, PR China.
5. Department of neurosurgery, the 463 Hospital of PLA, Shenyang 110042, PR China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

The mechanisms involved in diabetic neuropathic pain are complex and involve peripheral and central pathophysiological phenomena. Proinflammatory tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and TNF-α receptor 1, which are markers of inflammation, contribute to neuropathic pain. The purpose of this experimental study was to evaluate the effect of curcumin on diabetic pain in rats. We tested 24 rats with diabetes induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin and 24 healthy control rats. Twelve rats in each group received 60 mg/kg oral curcumin daily for 28 days, and the other 12 received vehicle. On days 7, 14, 21, and 28, we tested mechanical allodynia with von Frey hairs and thermal hyperalgesia with radiant heat. Markers of inflammation in the spinal cord dorsal horn on day 28 were estimated with a commercial assay and Western blot analysis. Compared to control rats, diabetic rats exhibited increased mean plasma glucose concentration, decreased mean body weight, and significant pain hypersensitivity, as evidenced by decreased paw withdrawal threshold to von Frey hairs and decreased paw withdrawal latency to heat. Curcumin significantly attenuated the diabetes-induced allodynia and hyperalgesia and reduced the expression of both TNF-α and TNF-α receptor 1. Curcumin seems to relieve diabetic hyperalgesia, possibly through an inhibitory action on TNF-α and TNF-α receptor 1.

Keywords: diabetic neuropathic pain, hyperalgesia, curcumin, tumour necrosis factor α, tumour necrosis factor α receptor 1.

How to cite this article:
Li Y, Zhang Y, Liu Db, Liu Hy, Hou Wg, Dong Ys. Curcumin Attenuates Diabetic Neuropathic Pain by Downregulating TNF-α in a Rat Model. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(4):377-381. doi:10.7150/ijms.5224. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v10p0377.htm