Given the poor bioavailability of curcumin, its antinociceptive effects are produced after chronic intravenous administration of high doses, while poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)-loaded vesicles (PLGA) can improve drug delivery. This paper investigates the antinociceptive effects of curcumin-loaded PLGA nanovesicles (PLGA-CUR) administered via intravenous (i.v.) or intrathecal (i.t.) routes at low and high doses. The following models of pain were used: formalin test, zymosan-induced hyperalgesia and sciatic nerve ligation inducing neuropathic allodynia and hyperalgesia. PLGA-CUR administered intravenously was able to reduce the response to nociceptive stimuli in the formalin test and hyperalgesia induced by zymosan. Curcumin, instead, was inactive. Low-dose i.t. administration of PLGA-CUR significantly reduced allodynia produced by sciatic nerve ligation, whereas low doses of curcumin did not change the response to nociceptive stimuli. Long-lasting antinociceptive effects were observed when high doses of PLGA-CUR were administered intrathecally. At high doses, i.t. administration of curcumin only exerted rapid and transient antinociceptive effects. Measurement of cytokine and BDNF in the spinal cord of neuropathic mice demonstrate that the antinociceptive effects of PLGA-CUR depend on the reduction in cytokine release and BDNF in the spinal cord. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of PLGA-CUR and suggest that PLGA-CUR nanoformulation might be a new potential drug in the treatment of pain.
- Spinal cord