Our recent study demonstrated that ginsenosides had antinociceptive effects by reducing some types of pain-related behavior in mice (Yoon et al., 1998. Ginsenosides induce differential antinociception and inhibit substance P-induced nociceptive response in mice. Life Science 62, PL319-PL325). In the present study we further investigated whether ginsenosides produce antinociceptive effects through an action at central or peripheral site(s) and whether these effects are mediated by the opioid system. Intraperitoneally injected ginsenosides suppressed in a dose-dependent manner the pain-related behavior produced by capsaicin injection into the plantar surface of the hind paw; the ED50 was 49 mg/kg [26-92 mg/kg, 95% confidence interval (C.I.)]. Intrathecally or intracerebroventricularly administered ginsenosides also suppressed the capsaicin-induced pain-related behavior in a dose-dependent manner; the ED50s were 1.72 mg/kg (0.8-3.72 mg/kg, 95% C.I.) and 1.48 mg/kg (0.8-2.6 mg/kg, 95% C.I.), respectively. On the other hand, subcutaneously injected ginsenosides to the plantar surface prior to the capsaicin injection did not alter the pain-related behavior. Naloxone pretreatment was without effect in blocking the antinociceptive effect of intrathecally administered ginsenosides. Intraperitoneally injected ginsenosides also did not significantly affect the motor response of animals. These results suggest that ginsenosides produce antinociceptive effects through their action at the spinal and/or supraspinal site(s), not at nociceptors in the periphery. In addition, the results suggest that the antinociceptive effects are not mediated by opioid receptors. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Pain behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience