Euphol, a tetracyclic triterpene produces antinociceptive effects in inflammatory and neuropathic pain: the involvement of cannabinoid system.

PMID 22613837


Persistent pains associated with inflammatory and neuropathic states are prevalent and debilitating diseases, which still remain without a safe and adequate treatment. Euphol, an alcohol tetracyclic triterpene, has a wide range of pharmacological properties and is considered to have anti-inflammatory action. Here, we assessed the effects and the underlying mechanisms of action of euphol in preventing inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Oral treatment with euphol (30 and 100 mg/kg) reduced carrageenan-induced mechanical hyperalgesia. Likewise, euphol given through the spinal and intracerebroventricular routes prevented mechanical hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan. Euphol consistently blocked the mechanical hyperalgesia induced by complete Freund's adjuvant, keratinocyte-derived chemokine, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha associated with the suppression of myeloperoxidase activity in the mouse paw. Oral treatment with euphol was also effective in preventing the mechanical nociceptive response induced by ligation of the sciatic nerve and also significantly reduced the levels and mRNA of cytokines/chemokines in both paw and spinal cord tissues following injection of complete Freund's adjuvant. In addition, the pre-treatment with either CB₁R or CB₂R antagonists, as well as the knockdown gene of the CB₁R and CB₂R, significantly reversed the antinociceptive effect of euphol. Interestingly, even in higher doses, euphol did not cause any relevant action in the central nervous system. Considering that few drugs are currently available for the treatment of chronic pain states, the present results provided evidence that euphol constitutes a promising molecule for the management of inflammatory and neuropathic pain states.