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Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Feb;86:654-661. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.12.068. Epub 2016 Dec 26.

Diosgenin ameliorates development of neuropathic pain in diabetic rats: Involvement of oxidative stress and inflammation.

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Neurophysiology Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Neurophysiology Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:


Neuropathic pain is one of the prevalent complications of diabetes mellitus (DM). Oxidative stress and inflammation are the principal determinants for its development. Pharmacological interventions targeted at alleviating or suppressing these pathways are clinically promising. Diosgenin is a natural steroidal saponin with anti-diabetic and multiple protective properties. This study was designed to study the efficacy of chronic diosgenin administration on alleviation of hyperalgesia in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats. Rats were allocated to control, diosgenin-treated control, diabetic, and diosgenin-treated-diabetic groups. Diosgenin was daily administered at a dose of 40mg/kg for 5 weeks. Nociceptive behavior was assessed using paw pressure, hot tail immersion, and formalin tests. In addition, some oxidative stress and inflammation markers were measured. Diosgenin treatment of diabetic group increased mechanical and thermal nociceptive thresholds and lowered pain score at late phase of the formalin test, but not at its early phase. Biochemical analysis of serum samples and sciatic nerve and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) lysates showed restoration or improvement of nuclear factor-<kappa>B (NF-κB), malondialdehyde (MDA) level, activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) upon diosgenin treatment of diabetic rats. The obtained results exhibited antinociceptive potential of diosgenin in diabetic rats through lowering oxidative stress and inflammation and improving antioxidant defense system. This suggests possible therapeutic potential of diosgenin for alleviation and management of diabetic neuropathic pain.


Diabetes mellitus; Diosgenin; Hyperalgesia; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Streptozotocin

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