Effects of curcumin on TTX-R sodium currents of dorsal root ganglion neurons in type 2 diabetic rats
Type 2 diabetic mellitus (T2DM) has reached pandemic status and shows no signs of abatement. Diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP) is generally considered to be one of the most common complications of T2DM, which is also recognized as one of the most difficult types of pain to treat. As one kind of peripheral neuropathic pain, DNP manifests typical chronic neuralgia symptoms, including hyperalgesia, allodynia, autotomy, and so on. The injured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is considered as the first stage of the sensory pathway impairment, whose neurons display increased frequency of action potential generation and increased spontaneous activities. These are mainly due to the changed properties of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and the increased sodium currents, especially TTX-R sodium currents. Curcumin, one of the most important phytochemicals from turmeric, has been demonstrated to effectively prevent and/or ameliorate diabetic mellitus and its complications including DNP. The present study demonstrates that the TTX-R sodium currents of small-sized DRG neurons isolated from DNP rats are significantly increased. Such abnormality can be efficaciously ameliorated by curcumin.