Effects of gabapentinoids on responses of primary cultures from rat dorsal root ganglia to inflammatory or somatosensory stimuli

Stephan Leisengang 1 , Daniela Ott 1 , Jolanta Murgott 1 , Franz Nürnberger 1 , Rüdiger Gerstberger 1 , Christoph Rummel 1 , Martin Schmidt 2 ,  and Joachim Roth 3
  • 1 Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
  • 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 108, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
  • 3 Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
Stephan Leisengang
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Daniela Ott
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Jolanta Murgott
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Franz Nürnberger
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Rüdiger Gerstberger
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Christoph Rummel
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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, Martin Schmidt
  • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 108, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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and Joachim Roth
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Veterinary-Physiology and -Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter Strasse 100, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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Abstract

Background

Gabapentinoids are known to reduce neuropathic pain. The aim of this experimental study was to investigate whether gabapentinoids exert anti-inflammatory and/or anti-nociceptive effects at the cellular level using primary cultures of rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG).

Methods

Cells from rat DRG were cultured in the presence of gabapentin or pregabalin, and we tested the effects of subsequent stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the expression of genes (real-time polymerase chain reaction) and production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) by specific bioassays. Using Ca2+ imaging, we further investigated in neurons the effects of gabapentinoids upon stimulation with the TRPV-1 agonist capsaicin.

Results

There is a small influence of gabapentinoids on the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, namely, a significantly reduced expression of IL-6. Pregabalin and gabapentin further seem to exert a moderate inhibitory influence on capsaicin-induced Ca2+ signals in DRG neurons.

Conclusions

Although the single inhibitory effects of gabapentinoids on inflammatory and nociceptive responses are moderate, a combination of both effects might provide an explanation for the proposed function of these substances as an adjuvant for the reduction of neuropathic pain.

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