Nanoparticle fullerol alleviates radiculopathy via NLRP3 inflammasome and neuropeptides

Li Jin, Mengmeng Ding, Azra Oklopcic, Bayan Aghdasi, Li Xiao, Ziyi Li, Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic, Xudong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The present study aimed to evaluate the analgesic effect of the antioxidant nanoparticle fullerol in a mouse radiculopathy and a dorsal root ganglion (DRG) culture models. Intervertebral disk degeneration causes significant hyperalgesia and nerve inflammation. Pain sensitization and inflammatory reaction were counteracted by fullerol when disk material was bathed in 10 or 100 μM of fullerol prior to implantation. Immunohistochemistry showed similar massive IBA1 positive macrophage infiltration surrounding implanted disk material among groups, but IL-1β and IL-6 expression was decreased in the fullerol treated group. In the DRG explant culture, after treatment with TNF-α, the expression of IL-1β, NLRP3, and caspase 1 was significantly increased but this was reversed by the addition of fullerol. In addition, fullerol also decreased the expression of substance P and CGRP in the cultured DRGs. Nanoparticle fullerol effectively counteracts pain sensitization and the inflammatory cascade caused by disk degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2049-2059
Number of pages11
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • DRG
  • Fullerene
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Inflammasome
  • Low back pain
  • Radiculopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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