(-)-Linalool is a natural compound with anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. The antinociceptive action of linalool has been reported in several models of inflammatory pain. However, its effects in neuropathic pain have not been investigated. Here, we used the spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model of neuropathic pain and studied the effects of acute and chronic administration of an established antinociceptive dose of linalool on mechanical and thermal sensitivity induced by the nerve injury in mice. Linalool did not affect pain behavior triggered by mechanical or thermal stimuli when administered as a single dose before SNL. However, mechanical allodynia was reduced transiently in neuropathic animals when linalool was administered for 7 consecutive days, while no changes were seen in the sensitivity to noxious radiant heat. We investigated the possible involvement of the PI3K/Akt pathway in linalool antinociceptive effect by western blot analysis. Linalool did not induce significant changes in Akt expression and phopshorylation though a trend toward an increased ratio of phosphorylated versus total Akt was observed in SNL animals treated with linalool, in comparison to SNL alone or sham. We then wondered whether linalool could modulate inflammatory processes and investigated spinal glia activation and IL-1β contents following linalool treatment in SNL animals. The data suggest that mechanisms other than an action on inflammatory processes may mediate linalool ability to reduce mechanical allodynia in this model of neuropathic pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience