Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chinese herbal compound relieves inflammatory, neuropathic pain

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
A compound derived from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been found effective at alleviating pain, pointing the way to a new nonaddictive analgesic for acute inflammatory and nerve pain, according to researchers.

A compound derived from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been found effective at alleviating pain, pointing the way to a new nonaddictive analgesic for acute inflammatory and nerve pain, according to UC Irvine pharmacology researchers.

Working with Chinese scientists, Olivier Civelli and his UC Irvine colleagues isolated a compound called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) from the roots of the Corydalis yanhusuo plant. In tests on rodents, DHCB proved to diminish both inflammatory pain, which is associated with tissue damage and the infiltration of immune cells, and injury-induced neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to the nervous system. This is important because there are no current adequate treatments for neuropathic pain.

Moreover, the researchers found that DHCB did not generate the tolerance seen with continued use of most conventional pain relievers, such as morphine.

"Today the pharmaceutical industry struggles to find new drugs. Yet for centuries people have used herbal remedies to address myriad health conditions, including pain. Our objective was to identify compounds in these herbal remedies that may help us discover new ways to treat health problems," said Civelli, the Eric L. & Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology. "We're excited that this one shows promise as an effective pharmaceutical. It also shows a different way to understand the pain mechanism."

Study results appear in the Jan. 20 issue of Current Biology.

They are the product of a collaboration between two teams separated by the Pacific Ocean. As traditional Chinese medicine gains greater acceptance in Western medical practice, Xinmiao Liang at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China and his group have been working to create an "herbalome" of all the compounds in plant extracts that display pharmacological properties. The UC Irvine team suggested applying "reverse pharmacology" -- a novel drug discovery approach that Civelli devised about 25 years ago -- to the herbalome project.

Together they screened 10 traditional Chinese medicines known as analgesics, testing nearly 500 compounds for their pain-relief abilities. Only DHCB in corydalis induced a reproducible effect.

Corydalis is a flowering herbal plant that grows in Siberia, Northern China and Japan. People utilize its root extract to alleviate menstrual cramps, chest pain and abdominal pain. It's been previously studied for its analgesic properties, but this is the first time DHCB has been identified, extracted and tested.

Chronic neuropathic pain affects more than 50 million Americans, yet management of this pain remains a major clinical challenge due to the poor results and severe side effects of conventional analgesics. Civelli said that drawing upon traditional Chinese medical-herbal products could lead to a breakthrough treatment for these patients.

DHCB needs to be evaluated for any toxicity before it can be developed as a drug. It's also possible that if the compound is chemically modified, a more potent pharmaceutical may be found. While DHCB is not currently available, it is part of the Corydalis yanhusuo root or extracts that can be purchased in health stores or online.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yan Zhang, Chaoran Wang, Lien Wang, GregoryScott Parks, Xiuli Zhang, Zhimou Guo, Yanxiong Ke, Kang-Wu Li, MiKyeong Kim, Benjamin Vo, Emiliana Borrelli, Guangbo Ge, Ling Yang, Zhiwei Wang, M.Julia Garcia-Fuster, Z.David Luo, Xinmiao Liang, Olivier Civelli. A Novel Analgesic Isolated from a Traditional Chinese Medicine. Current Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.039

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Chinese herbal compound relieves inflammatory, neuropathic pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133635.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2014, January 2). Chinese herbal compound relieves inflammatory, neuropathic pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133635.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Chinese herbal compound relieves inflammatory, neuropathic pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133635.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins