Suppression of TRPV1/TRPM8/p2y nociceptors by withametelin via downregulating mapk signaling in mouse model of vincristine-induced neuropathic pain

Adnan Khan, Bushra Shal, Ashraf Ullah Khan, Rahim Ullah, Muhammad Waleed Baig, Ihsan Ul Haq, Eun Kyoung Seo, Salman Khan

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37 Scopus citations


Vincristine (VCR) is a widely used chemotherapy drug that induced peripheral painful neuropathy. Yet, it still lacks an ideal therapeutic strategy. The transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, purinergic receptor (P2Y), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. Withametelin (WMT), a potential Phytosteroid isolated from datura innoxa, exhibits remarkable neuroprotective properties. The present investigation was designed to explore the effect of withametelin on VCR-induced neuropathic pain and its underlying molecular mechanism. Initially, the neuroprotective potential of WMT was confirmed against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 )-induced PC12 cells. To develop potential candidates for neuropathic pain treatment, a VCR-induced neuropathic pain model was established. Vincristine (75 µg/kg) was ad-ministered intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 10 consecutive days (day 1–10) for the induction of neuropathic pain. Gabapentin (GBP) (60 mg/kg, i.p.) and withametelin (0.1 and 1 mg/kg i.p.) treatments were given after the completion of VCR injection on the 11th day up to 21 days. The results revealed that WMT significantly reduced VCR-induced pain hypersensitivity, including mechanical allodynia, cold allodynia, and thermal hyperalgesia. It reversed the VCR-induced histopathological changes in the brain, spinal cord, and sciatic nerve. It inhibited VCR-induced changes in the biochemical composition of the myelin sheath of the sciatic nerve. It markedly downregulated the expression levels of TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1); TRPM8 (Transient receptor potential melastatin 8); and P2Y nociceptors and MAPKs signaling, including ERK (Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase), JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), and p-38 in the spinal cord. It suppressed apoptosis by regulating Bax (Bcl2-associated X-protein), Bcl-2 (B-cell-lymphoma-2), and Caspase-3 expression. It considerably attenuated inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity. This study suggests that WMT treatment suppressed vincristine-induced neuropathic pain by targeting the TRPV1/TRPM8/P2Y nociceptors and MAPK signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6084
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bax/Bcl-2
  • MAPK
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Vincristine
  • Withametelin


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