The protective effect of resveratrol in the transmission of neuropathic pain mediated by the P2X7 receptor in the dorsal root ganglia

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Abstract

The P2X7 receptor mediates afferent nerve activation and is related to chronic neuropathic pain. Resveratrol (RES) has also been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of RES on the transmission of neuropathic pain mediated by the P2X7 receptor. The P2X7 mRNA and protein expression levels in L4-L5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG)s of the chronic constriction injury (CCI) group were significantly higher than those observed in the Ctrl + NS, Sham + RES and Sham groups. RES increased the threshold of thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity in rats with chronic neuropathic pain. The P2X7 mRNA and protein expression levels in the CCI + RES group were decreased compared with those in the CCI group. Our results showed that RES inhibited the upregulated co-expression of P2X7 and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, a marker of satellite glial cells) in satellite glial cells of DRG in the CCI group. The results demonstrated that the expression of GFAP was increased in the CCI group and that RES inhibited the upregulated expression of GFAP in the rats in the CCI group. In addition, the phosphorylation levels of p38 and extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK)1/2 in the CCI group were markedly higher than those observed in the Ctrl + NS, Sham + RES and Sham groups, whereas the phosphorylation levels of p38 and ERK1/2 in CCI + RES group were markedly lower than those observed in the CCI group. RES inhibited BzATP-activated currents in DRG non-neurons in the CCI rats. Our data provide evidence that RES may suppress the transmission of neuropathic pain mediated by the P2X7 receptor in the satellite glial cells of dorsal root ganglia.

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