Vinpocetine, a derivate of vincamine, is widely used in the clinical pharmacotherapy
of cerebral circulatory diseases. Herewith we report on a novel effect of vinpocetine:
inhibition of retrograde axoplasmic transport of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the
peripheral nerve. Blockade of retrograde transport of NGF results in transganglionic
degenerative atrophy (TDA) in the segmentally related ipsilateral superficial spinal
dorsal horn, which is characterized by depletion of the marker enzymes fluoride- resistant
acid phosphatase (FRAP) and thiamine monophosphatase (TMP). At the same time, pain-related
neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP),
are depleted from lamina I-III from the segmentally related, ipsilateral Rolando substance
of the spinal cord. On the basis of these experiments it is suggested that vinpocetine
may result in a locally restricted decrease of nociception, that might be useful in
clinical treatment of intractable pain. Pilot self-experiments support this assumption.
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