Zerumbone, a monocyclic sesquiterpene from the wild ginger plant Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith, attenuates allodynia and hyperalgesia. Currently, its mechanisms of action in neuropathic pain conditions remain unclear. This study examines the involvement of potassium channels and opioid receptors in zerumbone-induced analgesia in a chronic constriction injury (CCI) neuropathic pain mice model. Male Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were subjected to CCI and behavioral responses were tested on day 14. Responses toward mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia were tested with von Frey's filament and Hargreaves' tests, respectively. Symptoms of neuropathic pain were significantly alleviated following treatment with zerumbone (10 mg/kg; intraperitoneal, i.p.). However, when the voltage-dependent K+ channel blocker tetraethylammonium (TEA, 4 mg/kg; i.p.), ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker, glibenclamide (GLIB, 10 mg/kg; i.p.); small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel inhibitor apamin (APA, 0.04 mg/kg; i.p.), or large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel inhibitor charybdotoxin (CHAR, 0.02 mg/kg; i.p.) was administered prior to zerumbone (10 mg/kg; i.p.), the antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of zerumbone were significantly reversed. Additionally, non-specific opioid receptors antagonist, naloxone (NAL, 10 mg/kg; i.p.), selective µ-, δ- and κ-opioid receptor antagonists; β-funaltrexamine (β-FN, 40 mg/kg; i.p.), naltrindole (20 mg/kg; s.c.), nor-binaltorphamine (10 mg/kg; s.c.) respectively attenuated the antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of zerumbone. This outcome clearly demonstrates the participation of potassium channels and opioid receptors in the antineuropathic properties of zerumbone. As various clinically used neuropathic pain drugs also share this similar mechanism, this compound is, therefore, a highly potential substitute to these therapeutic options.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.