This study aimed to investigate whether celastrol (CEL) could alleviate incision-induced pain and decipher its possible mechanism.Materials and methods:
Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups: naïve, vehicle, CEL (5 μg/paw, 10 μg/paw and 20 μg/paw). CEL or vehicle was administered intraplantarly before plantar surgical incision. Histological examinations of skin tissues were performed after HE staining. Additionally, immunohistochemical staining, RT-PCR and western blot were performed to analyse macrophages, proinflammatory cytokines, SARM and NF-κB expression, respectively. Moreover, the previous mentioned factors were re-evaluated after suppressing SARM expression by shRNA.Key findings:
The plantar incision rats displayed pain-related behaviours and inflammatory infiltration in the skin. The mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα were significantly upregulated in the skin of surgical rats. The expression of sterile α- and armadillo-motif-containing protein (SARM) was downregulated and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) was activated. Interestingly, CEL could partially restore the pain-related behavioural changes. Furthermore, molecular mechanism of CEL was explored, that included significantly reduction of proinflammatory cytokines mRNA expressions, a significant decrease of p-p65 and p65 levels and a markedly increase of SARM and IkBα expressions in skin tissues. However, supression SARM by shRNA partially eliminated those protective effect of CEL.Significance:
Our data suggest that intraplantarly administration of CEL attenuates inflammatory and acute pain. This finding could be attributed to regulation of the NF-κB signalling pathway via SARM. These results provide pre-clinical evidence supporting the use of CEL in the treatment of surgical pain.