Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology

Anti-nociceptive effect of stigmasterol in mouse models of acute and chronic pain.

PMID 28821921


Stigmasterol is a common sterol found in plants, but the anti-nociceptive effect of this compound and its mechanism of action are not fully explored. Thus, in the present study, the anti-nociceptive effect of stigmasterol was investigated in acute and chronic models of pain and its mechanism of action. We used adult male albino Swiss mice (25-35 g) to observe the anti-nociceptive effect of stigmasterol in acetic-acid writhing test or in complete Freund's adjuvant injection, surgical incision in hind paw, or partial sciatic nerve ligation. Moreover, we investigate the involvement of opioid receptors (naloxone, 2 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) in stigmasterol anti-nociceptive effect and stigmasterol action on acetylcholinesterase activity. Some possible adverse effects caused by stigmasterol were also investigated. Stigmasterol (0.3-3 mg/kg, orally) exhibited an anti-nociceptive effect on acetic-acid-induced writhing test. Furthermore, it markedly attenuated the mechanical allodynia caused by surgical incision (after acute treatment with stigmasterol, preventive and curative effects were observed) and partial sciatic nerve ligation (after acute treatment with stigmasterol) and complete Freund's adjuvant (after acute or repeated treatment with stigmasterol). The anti-nociceptive effect of stigmasterol was not reversed by naloxone. Moreover, stigmasterol did not alter in vitro acetylcholinesterase activity in spinal cord or brain samples. Also, stigmasterol did not cause gastric ulcers or alter the gastrointestinal transit of mice. Taken together, these results support the potential anti-nociceptive effect of stigmasterol in different models of pain.