Use of bulleyaconitine a as an adjuvant for prolonged cutaneous analgesia in the rat

Chi Fei Wang, Peter Gerner, Birgitta Schmidt, Zhen Zhong Xu, Carla Nau, Sho Ya Wang, Ru Rong Ji, Ging Kuo Wang

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND:: Bulleyaconitine A (BLA) is an analgesic and antiinflammatory drug isolated from Aconitum plants. BLA has several potential targets, including voltage-gated Na channels. We tested whether BLA elicited long-lasting cutaneous analgesia, when co-injected with lidocaine and epinephrine, as a model for prolonged infiltration anesthesia. METHODS:: The local anesthetic properties of BLA were assessed by the patch-clamp technique in HEK293t cells expressing Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 neuronal Na channels, both crucial for nociception. Drug solutions (0.6 mL) were injected subcutaneously via rat shaved dorsal skin. Inhibition of the cutaneous trunci muscle reflex was evaluated by pinpricks. Skin cross-sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin or with antibodies against PGP9.5. RESULTS:: BLA at 10 μM interacted minimally with resting or inactivated Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 Na channels when infrequently stimulated to +50 mV for 3 ms. However, when stimulated at 2 Hz for 1000 pulses, their peak Na currents were >90% reduced by BLA. This use-dependent inhibition was not significantly reversed after 15-min washing. Complete nociceptive blockade after injection of lidocaine (0.5%)/epinephrine (1:200,000) lasted for approximately 1 h in rats; full recovery occurred after approximately 6 h. Co-injection of 0.125 mM BLA with lidocaine/epinephrine increased the duration of complete nociceptive blockade to 24 h. Full recovery occurred after approximately 6 days. Skin histology including peripheral nerve fibers appeared unaffected by BLA. CONCLUSIONS:: BLA inhibits Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 Na currents in a use-dependent manner. Co-injection of BLA at ≤0.125 mM with lidocaine and epinephrine elicits complete cutaneous analgesia that lasts for up to 24 h without adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1397-1405
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10.2008


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