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Phytother Res. 2007 Mar;21(3):278-83.

Effect of insulin and its combination with resveratrol or curcumin in attenuation of diabetic neuropathic pain: participation of nitric oxide and TNF-alpha.

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Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India.


Diabetic neuropathic pain, an important microvascular complication in diabetes mellitus, is recognized as one of the most difficult types of pain to treat. The underlying mechanisms of painful symptoms may be closely associated with hyperglycaemia but a lack of the understanding of its proper aetiology, inadequate relief, development of tolerance and potential toxicity of classical antinociceptives warrant the investigation of newer agents to relieve this pain. The aim of the present study was to explore the antinociceptive effect of insulin and its combinations with resveratrol and curcumin in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain. The study also aimed to examine the effect of these combinations on tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic mice. Four weeks after a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (200 mg/kg), mice were tested in the tail immersion and hot-plate assays. Diabetic mice exhibited significant hyperalgesia along with increased plasma glucose and decreased body weights compared with control mice. Chronic treatment with insulin (10 IU/kg/day, s.c.) and its combinations with antioxidants (resveratrol 20 mg/kg or curcumin 60 mg/kg, p.o.) for 4 weeks starting from the 4th week of STZ injection significantly attenuated thermal hyperalgesia and the hot-plate latencies. There was a significant inhibition of TNF-alpha and NO levels when these drugs were given in combination compared with their effects per se. These results indicate an antinociceptive activity of resveratrol and curcumin and point towards the beneficial effect of these combinations with insulin in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain, possibly through the participation of NO and TNF-alpha.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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