This study revealed a dramatic analgesic action of gastrodin on inflammatory pain. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Gastrodin protects against chronic inflammatory pain by inhibiting spinal synaptic potentiation.
Sci Rep. 2016 11 17 ;6:37251. Epub 2016 Nov 17. PMID: 27853254
Tissue injury is known to produce inflammation and pain. Synaptic potentiation between peripheral nociceptors and spinal lamina I neurons has been proposed to serve as a trigger for chronic inflammatory pain. Gastrodin is a main bioactive constituent of the traditional Chinese herbal medicine Gastrodia elata Blume, which has been widely used as an analgesic since ancient times. However, its underlying cellular mechanisms have remained elusive. The present study demonstrated for the first time that gastrodin exhibits an analgesic effect at the spinal level on spontaneous pain, mechanical and thermal pain hypersensitivity induced by peripheral inflammation, which is not dependent on opioid receptors and without tolerance. This analgesia by gastrodin is at least in part mediated by depressing spinal synaptic potentiation via blockade of acid-sensing ion channels. Further studies with miniature EPSCs and paired-pulse ratio analysis revealed the presynaptic origin of the action of gastrodin, which involves a decrease in transmitter release probability. In contrast, neither basal nociception nor basal synaptic transmission was altered. This study revealed a dramatic analgesic action of gastrodin on inflammatory pain and uncovered a novel spinal mechanism that could underlie the analgesia by gastrodin, pointing the way to a new analgesic for treating chronic inflammatory pain.