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J Dent Res. 2010 Feb;89(2):170-4. doi: 10.1177/0022034509356169. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Curcumin produces an antihyperalgesic effect via antagonism of TRPV1.

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Dental Research Institute and Department of Physiology, Seoul National University, Yeongeon-Dong Chongno-Ku, Korea.


Curcumin has diverse therapeutic effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial activities. The vanilloid moiety of curcumin is considered important for activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), which plays an important role in nociception. However, very little is known about the effects of curcumin on nociception. In the present study, we investigated whether the anti-nociceptive effects of curcumin are mediated via TRPV1 by using nociceptive behavioral studies and in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in the trigeminal system. Subcutaneous injection of capsaicin in the vibrissa pad area of rats induced thermal hyperalgesia. Intraperitoneally administered curcumin blocked capsaicin-induced thermal hyperalgesia in a dose-dependent manner. Whereas curcumin reduced capsaicin-induced currents in a dose-dependent manner in both trigeminal ganglion neurons and TRPV1-expressing HEK 293 cells, curcumin did not affect heat-induced TRPV1 currents. Taken together, our results indicate that curcumin blocks capsaicin-induced TRPV1 activation and thereby inhibits TRPV1-mediated pain hypersensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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