Journal of Pain Research (Feb 2013)

Effects of NSAIDs and paracetamol (acetaminophen) on protein kinase C epsilon translocation and on substance P synthesis and release in cultured sensory neurons

  • Vellani V,
  • Franchi S,
  • Prandini M,
  • Moretti S,
  • Castelli M,
  • Giacomoni C,
  • Sacerdote P

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2013, no. default
pp. 111 – 120


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Vittorio Vellani,1 Silvia Franchi,2 Massimiliano Prandini,1 Sarah Moretti,2 Mara Castelli,2 Chiara Giacomoni,3 Paola Sacerdote21Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3Department of Economics and Technology, University of the Republic of San Marino, Republic of San MarinoAbstract: Celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and nimesulide are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) very commonly used for the treatment of moderate to mild pain, together with paracetamol (acetaminophen), a very widely used analgesic with a lesser anti-inflammatory effect. In the study reported here, we tested the efficacy of celecoxib, diclofenac, and ibuprofen on preprotachykinin mRNA synthesis, substance P (SP) release, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release, and protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) translocation in rat cultured sensory neurons from dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). The efficacy of these NSAIDs was compared with the efficacy of paracetamol and nimesulide in in vitro models of hyperalgesia (investigated previously). While nimesulide and paracetamol, as in previous experiments, decreased the percentage of cultured DRG neurons showing translocation of PKCε caused by 100 nM thrombin or 1 µM bradykinin in a dose-dependent manner, the other NSAIDs tested did not have a significant effect. The amount of SP released by peptidergic neurons and the expression level of preprotachykinin mRNA were assessed in basal conditions and after 70 minutes or 36 hours of stimulation with an inflammatory soup (IS) containing potassium chloride, thrombin, bradykinin, and endothelin-1. The release of SP at 70 minutes was inhibited only by nimesulide, while celecoxib and diclofenac were effective at 36 hours. The mRNA basal level of the SP precursor preprotachykinin expressed in DRG neurons was reduced only by nimesulide, while the increased levels expressed during treatment with the IS were significantly reduced by all drugs tested, with the exception of ibuprofen. All drugs were able to decrease basal and IS-stimulated PGE2 release. Our study demonstrates novel mechanisms of action of commonly used NSAIDS.Keywords: PKCε, nociceptors, analgesia, nimesulide, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, dorsal root ganglia