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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2018 Mar 1;51(4):e7097. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20177097.

Treatment with ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol modulates oxidative-stress markers in the spinal cord of rats with neuropathic pain.

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Laboratório de Neurobiologia Comparada, Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
UNIVATES, Lajeado, RS, Brasil.
Centro Universitário da Serra Gaúcha, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.


Vitamin E (vit. E) and vitamin C (vit. C) are antioxidants that inhibit nociception. The effect of these vitamins on oxidative-stress markers in the spinal cord of rats with chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve is unknown. This study investigated the effect of intraperitoneal administration of vit. E (15 mg·kg-1·day-1) and vit. C (30 mg·kg-1·day-1), given alone or in combination, on spinal cord oxidative-stress markers in CCI rats. Adult male Wistar rats weighing 200-250 g were divided equally into the following groups: Naive (rats did not undergo surgical manipulation); Sham (rats in which all surgical procedures involved in CCI were used except the ligature), and CCI (rats in which four ligatures were tied loosely around the right common sciatic nerve), which received injections of vitamins or vehicle (saline containing 1% Tween 80) for 3 or 10 days (n=6/each group). The vitamins prevented the reduction in total thiol content and the increase in superoxide-anion generation that were found in vehicle-treated CCI rats. While nitric-oxide metabolites increased in vehicle-treated CCI rats 3 days after surgery, these metabolites did not show significant changes in vitamin-treated CCI rats. In all rats, total antioxidant capacity and hydrogen-peroxide levels did not change significantly. Lipid hydroperoxides increased 25% only in vehicle-treated CCI rats. These changes may contribute to vit. C- and vit. E-induced antinociception, because scavenging reactive oxygen species seems to help normalize the spinal cord oxidative status altered by pain.

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