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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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