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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 436482, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/436482
Research Article

Gyejigachulbu-Tang Relieves Oxaliplatin-Induced Neuropathic Cold and Mechanical Hypersensitivity in Rats via the Suppression of Spinal Glial Activation

1Department of East-West Medicine, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Physiology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Microbiology, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Republic of Korea
4Department of Gynecology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
5Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 29 July 2014; Revised 1 November 2014; Accepted 1 November 2014; Published 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Andreas Sandner-Kiesling

Copyright © 2014 Byung-Soo Ahn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Activation of spinal glial cells plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. An administration of oxaliplatin, an important anticancer drug, often induces acute neuropathic cold hypersensitivity and/or mechanical hypersensitivity in patients. Gyejigachulbu-tang (GBT), a herbal formula comprising Cinnamomi Cortex, Paeoniae Radix, Atractylodis Lanceae Rhizoma, Zizyphi Fructus, Glycyrrhizae Radix, Zingiberis Rhizoma, and Aconiti Tuber, has been used in East Asia to treat various pain symptoms, especially in cold patients. This study investigated whether and how GBT alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical hypersensitivity in rats. The behavioral signs of cold and mechanical hypersensitivity were evaluated by a tail immersion test in cold water (4°C) and a von Frey hair test, respectively. The significant cold and mechanical hypersensitivity were observed 3 days after an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.). Daily oral administration of GBT (200, 400, and 600 mg/kg) for 5 days markedly attenuated cold and mechanical hypersensitivity. Immunoreactivities of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, astrocyte marker) and OX-42 (microglia marker) in the spinal dorsal horn were significantly increased by an oxaliplatin injection, which were restored by GBT administration. These results indicate that GBT relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical hypersensitivity in rats possibly through the suppression of spinal glial activation.