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Open AccessArticle

β-Caryophyllene, a CB2-Receptor-Selective Phytocannabinoid, Suppresses Mechanical Allodynia in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Safat 13110, Kuwait
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Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010106
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 24 December 2019 / Accepted: 25 December 2019 / Published: 27 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids)
Neuropathic pain associated with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), therapeutic agents for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), responds poorly to available drugs. Smoked cannabis was reported to relieve HIV-associated neuropathic pain in clinical trials. Some constituents of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) activate cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors. However, activation of the CB1 receptor is associated with side effects such as psychosis and physical dependence. Therefore, we investigated the effect of β-caryophyllene (BCP), a CB2-selective phytocannabinoid, in a model of NRTI-induced neuropathic pain. Female BALB/c mice treated with 2′-3′-dideoxycytidine (ddC, zalcitabine), a NRTI, for 5 days developed mechanical allodynia, which was prevented by cotreatment with BCP, minocycline or pentoxifylline. A CB2 receptor antagonist (AM 630), but not a CB1 receptor antagonist (AM 251), antagonized BCP attenuation of established ddC-induced mechanical allodynia. β-Caryophyllene prevented the ddC-induced increase in cytokine (interleukin 1 beta, tumor necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma) transcripts in the paw skin and brain, as well as the phosphorylation level of Erk1/2 in the brain. In conclusion, BCP prevents NRTI-induced mechanical allodynia, possibly via reducing the inflammatory response, and attenuates mechanical allodynia through CB2 receptor activation. Therefore, BCP could be useful for prevention and treatment of antiretroviral-induced neuropathic pain. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuropathic pain; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; cytokines; ddC; phytocannabinoid; β-caryophyllene; antiretroviral; mechanical allodynia; CB2 receptor neuropathic pain; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; cytokines; ddC; phytocannabinoid; β-caryophyllene; antiretroviral; mechanical allodynia; CB2 receptor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aly, E.; Khajah, M.A.; Masocha, W. β-Caryophyllene, a CB2-Receptor-Selective Phytocannabinoid, Suppresses Mechanical Allodynia in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain. Molecules 2020, 25, 106.

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