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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014, Article ID 171839, 9 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Activities of Bufalin in Rodents

1Department of Anesthesiology, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, 651 Dongfeng East Road, Guangzhou 510060, China
2Department of Orthopaedic Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
3The Institute of Biology, Guizhou Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550009, China

Received 14 November 2013; Revised 10 January 2014; Accepted 12 January 2014; Published 26 February 2014

Academic Editor: Eduardo López-Collazo

Copyright © 2014 Lili Wen 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.


The aims of this study were to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of bufalin, a major component of “Chan-su.” We used a carrageenan-induced paw edema model to assess the anti-inflammatory activity of this compound, and Western blot analysis detected NF-κB signaling during this effect. The antinociceptive activities were evaluated by acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin, and hot-plate tests; open-field test investigated effects on the central nervous system. Our data showed that bufalin (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg, i.p.) potently decreased carrageenan-induced paw edema. Bufalin down regulated the expression levels of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) during these treatments. Further studies demonstrated that bufalin significantly inhibited the activation of NF-κB signaling. Bufalin also reduced acetic acid-induced writhing and the licking time in the formalin test and increased hot-plate reaction latencies. Naloxone pretreatment (2 mg/kg, i.p.) in the early phases of the formalin test and hot-plate test significantly attenuated the bufalin-induced antinociception effects, which suggests the involvement of the opioid system. A reduction in locomotion was not observed in the open-field test after bufalin administration. Taken together, bufalin treatment resulted in in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and bufalin may be a novel, potential drug for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.