Access this Article


Processed Aconiti tuber (PAT) is used to treat pain associated with various disorders. Although it has been demonstrated that the κ opioid receptor (KOR) signaling pathway is a mediator of the analgesic effect of PAT, active components affecting opioid signaling have not yet been identified. In this study, we explored candidate components of PAT by pharmacokinetic analysis and identified ignavine, which is a different structure from aconitine alkaloids. A receptor binding assay of opioid receptors showed that ignavine specifically binds the μ opioid receptor (MOR), not the KOR. Receptor internalization assay in MOR-expressing cell lines revealed that ignavine augmented the responses produced by D-Ala(2)-N-Me-Phe(4)-Gly-ol(5)-enkephalin (DAMGO), a representative MOR agonist, at a low concentration and inhibited it at a higher concentration. Ignavine also exerted positive modulatory activity for DAMGO, endomorphin-1 and morphine in cAMP assay. Additionally, ignavine alone showed an analgesic effect in vivo. In silico simulation analysis suggested that ignavine would induce a unique structural change distinguished from those induced by a representative MOR agonist and antagonist. These data collectively suggest the possibility that ignavine could be a novel allosteric modulator of the MOR. The present results may open the way for the development of a novel pain management strategy.


  • Scientific reports

    Scientific reports (6), 31748, 2016-08

    Nature Publishing Group



  • NII Article ID (NAID)
  • Text Lang
  • Article Type
    journal article
  • ISSN
  • Data Source
Page Top