Neurochemical Research

, Volume 43, Issue 12, pp 2404–2422 | Cite as

Neuroprotective Effect of Anethole Against Neuropathic Pain Induced by Chronic Constriction Injury of the Sciatic Nerve in Mice

  • Bing Wang
  • Guoxin Zhang
  • Mei Yang
  • Ning Liu
  • Yu-Xiang Li
  • Hanxiang Ma
  • Lin Ma
  • Tao Sun
  • Huanran Tan
  • Jianqiang Yu
Original Paper


Neuropathic pain is an intractable disease with few definitive therapeutic options. Anethole (AN) has been confirmed to possess potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, but its effect on neuropathic pain has not been reported. The present study was designed to investigate the antinociceptive effect of AN on chronic constriction injury (CCI)-induced neuropathic pain in mice. AN (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) and pregabalin (40 mg/kg) were intragastric administered for 8 consecutive days from the 7th day post-surgery. Behavioral parameters were measured on different days, namely, 0, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 14, from CCI operation. Additionally, electrophysiological and histopathological changes were analyzed on the 14th day. Afterward, immunofluorescence and Western blot were utilized to examine the activation of glial cells and the expression of inflammatory cytokines, respectively. AN treatment of CCI mice considerably alleviated hyperalgesia and allodynia, ameliorated abnormal sciatic nerve conduction, and restored injured sciatic nerves in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, AN suppressed the activation of glial cells, down-regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL-6, and IL-1β), and up-regulated the anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10). These assays first indicated that AN exerted an antinociceptive effect on CCI-induced neuropathic pain, and might be attributed to the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities of AN.


Anethole Neuropathic pain Chronic constriction injury Behavioral tests Inflammation Neuroprotection 



This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81360182), the Key Research and Development Project in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (2017BY079) and the “13th Five-Year Plan” Major Science and Technology Project in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (2016BZ07). We are indebted to the staff in the Animal Center and the Science and Technology Centre who provided assistances in the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures were performed as approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee of Ningxia Medical University. This study complied with the IASP guidelines and ethical regulations on conscious-experimental animals research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bing Wang
    • 1
  • Guoxin Zhang
    • 1
  • Mei Yang
    • 1
  • Ning Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu-Xiang Li
    • 3
  • Hanxiang Ma
    • 4
  • Lin Ma
    • 5
  • Tao Sun
    • 5
  • Huanran Tan
    • 6
  • Jianqiang Yu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, College of PharmacyNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Ningxia Hui Medicine Modern Engineering Research Center and Collaborative Innovation CenterNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of NursingNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of AnesthesiologyGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Ningxia Key Laboratory of Craniocerebral Diseases of Ningxia Hui Autonomous RegionNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.Department of PharmacologyPeking University, Health Science CenterBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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