Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are widely expressed in the rat spinal cord and modulate innocuous and nociceptive transmission. The present studies were designed to investigate the plasticity of spinal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulating mechanosensitive information following spinal nerve ligation. A tonic inhibitory cholinergic tone mediated by dihydro-β-erythroidine- (DHβE) and methyllycaconitine- (MLA) sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was identified in the normal rat spinal cord and cholinergic tone at both populations of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was lost ipsilateral to spinal nerve ligation. The administration of intrathecal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists reduced mechanical paw pressure thresholds with a potency of epibatidine = A-85380 >> nicotine > choline in the normal rat. Following spinal nerve ligation, intrathecal epibatidine and nicotine produced an ipsilateral antinociception, but intrathecal A-85380 and choline did not. The antinociceptive response to intrathecal nicotine was blocked with the α7* and α9α10*-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, MLA, and the αβ heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, DHβE. The antinociceptive effects of both intrathecal nicotine and epibatidine were mediated by GABAA receptors. Spinal [3H]epibatidine saturation binding was unchanged in spinal nerve-ligated rats, but spinal nerve ligation did increase the ability of nicotine to displace [3H]epibatidine from spinal cord membranes. Spinal nerve ligation altered the expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits ipsilaterally, with a large increase in the modulatory α5 subunit. Taken together these results suggest that pro- and antinociceptive populations of spinal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulate the transmission of mechanosensitive information and that spinal nerve ligation-induced changes in spinal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors likely result from a change in subunit composition rather than overt loss of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes.
neuropathic pain; antinociception; nicotine; nociception
Choline is known to be involved with numerous physiological functions of the nervous system and also acts as a direct acting agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The purpose of this study was to conduct a brain region-specific evaluation of changes in nAChR subtype expression following dietary choline modification. In addition, we assessed changes in body weight, food/water intake, as well as changes spatial learning (Morris Water Maze) in response to dietary choline modification. Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to standard, choline supplemented or choline deficient diets for periods of 14 or 28 days. Choline supplemented animals gained significantly less weight over the course of the experiment, in spite of the fact that there were minimal differences in food consumption between the dietary regimens. Spatial memory did not differ between animals maintained on a standard rat diet, and the choline supplemented food. Brains of the animals kept on the diets for 14 and 28 days were used for quantitative autoradiographic analysis of nicotinic receptor subtypes using 125I-Bungarotoxin (α7) and 125I-Epibatidine (non-α7). There were no significant differences in nicotinic receptor binding or physiologic parameters measured between animals fed standard and choline deficient diets. However 2 weeks of dietary choline supplementation caused significant up-regulation of α7 receptors without significant effect on the density of non-α7 nAChRs. Increases in BTX binding predominantly occurred in cortical and hippocampal brain regions and ranged between 14 and 30 percent depending on the brain region. The results of our study suggest that choline acts as a selective agonist at α7 nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the rat central nervous system.
ℑ7 nAChR; Cholinergic; Acetylcholine; Morris Water Maze; Up-regulation; Bungarotoxin; Epibatidine
Multiple studies in animal models and humans suggest that the endogenous opioid system is an important neurobiological substrate for nicotine addictive properties. In this study, we evaluated the participation of δ-opioid receptors in different behavioral responses of nicotine by using δ-opioid receptor knockout mice. Acute nicotine administration induced hypolocomotion and antinociception in wild-type mice, which were similar in knockout animals. The development of tolerance to nicotine-induced antinociception was also similar in both genotypes. In agreement, the expression and functional activity of δ-opioid receptors were not modified in the different layers of the spinal cord and brain areas evaluated after chronic nicotine treatment. The somatic manifestation of the nicotine withdrawal syndrome precipitated by mecamylamine was also similar in wild-type and δ-opioid receptor knockout mice. In contrast, nicotine induced a conditioned place preference in wild-type animals that was abolished in knockout mice. Moreover, a lower percentage of acquisition of intravenous nicotine self-administration was observed in mice lacking δ-opioid receptors as well as in wild-type mice treated with the selective δ-opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole. Accordingly, in-vivo microdialysis studies revealed that the enhancement in dopamine extracellular levels induced by nicotine in the nucleus accumbens was reduced in mutant mice. In summary, the present results show that δ-opioid receptors are involved in the modulation of nicotine rewarding effects. However, this opioid receptor does not participate either in several acute effects of nicotine or in the development of tolerance and physical dependence induced by chronic nicotine administration.
dependence; tolerance; reward; knockout; microdialysis; self-administration; behavioral science; addiction & substance abuse; animal models; psychopharmacology; dependence; tolerance; reward; knockout; microdialysis
Experimental dietary hepatic injury (diffuse or focal necrosis and cirrhosis in rats, with or without ascites and pleural and pericardial effusion) is determined by the dietary factors instrumental also in the production of fat infiltration of the liver and thus opposed to the lipotropic activity of casein. Accordingly, rats maintained on a diet low in casein with a moderately high or high content of fat and without choline regularly exhibited hepatic injury after between 100 and 150 days. Supplements of l-cystine had an aggravating effect on the production of cirrhosis of the liver, whereas a supplement of choline alone reduced the severity and the incidence of hepatic injury, although not decisively. The combined administration of l-cystine plus choline or of dl-methionine in adequate doses, however, proved to be highly effective in preventing injury to the liver. These conclusions have been corroborated by the use of different modifications of the basal diet. Rats with dietary hepatic injury exhibit, in sequence, changes that vary from diffuse necrosis resembling human acute or subacute yellow atrophy to advanced portal cirrhosis. Diffuse necrotizing nephrosis was a frequent accompaniment of the hepatic injury. Cystine again, proved to be a factor which aggravated this condition.
The α7 subunit-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is an essential component in the vagus nerve-based cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway that regulates the levels of TNF, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), and other cytokines during inflammation. Choline is an essential nutrient, a cell membrane constituent, a precursor in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine, and a selective natural α7nAChR agonist. Here, we studied the anti-inflammatory potential of choline in murine endotoxemia and sepsis, and the role of the α7nAChR in mediating the suppressive effect of choline on TNF release. Choline (0.1–50 mM) dose-dependently suppressed TNF release from endotoxin-activated RAW macrophage-like cells, and this effect was associated with significant inhibition of NF-κB activation. Choline (50 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [i.p.]) treatment prior to endotoxin administration in mice significantly reduced systemic TNF levels. In contrast to its TNF suppressive effect in wild type mice, choline (50 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to inhibit systemic TNF levels in α7nAChR knockout mice during endotoxemia. Choline also failed to suppress TNF release from endotoxin-activated peritoneal macrophages isolated from α7nAChR knockout mice. Choline treatment prior to endotoxin resulted in a significantly improved survival rate as compared with saline-treated endotoxemic controls. Choline also suppressed HMGB1 release in vitro and in vivo, and choline treatment initiated 24 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced polymicrobial sepsis significantly improved survival in mice. In addition, choline suppressed TNF release from endotoxin-activated human whole blood and macrophages. Collectively, these data characterize the anti-inflammatory efficacy of choline and demonstrate that the modulation of TNF release by choline requires α7nAChR-mediated signaling.
Electroacupuncture (EA) can produce analgesia by increasing the β-endorphin level and activation of peripheral μ-opioid receptors in inflamed tissues. Endogenous cannabinoids and peripheral cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) are also involved in the antinociceptive effect of EA on inflammatory pain. However, little is known about how peripheral CB2Rs interact with the endogenous opioid system at the inflammatory site and how this interaction contributes to the antinociceptive effect of EA on inflammatory pain. In this study, we determined the role of peripheral CB2Rs in the effects of EA on the expression of β-endorphin in inflamed skin tissues and inflammatory pain.
Inflammatory pain was induced by injection of complete Freund's adjuvant into the left hindpaw of rats. Thermal hyperalgesia was tested with a radiant heat stimulus, and mechanical allodynia was quantified using von Frey filaments. The mRNA level of POMC and protein level of β-endorphin were quantified by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The β-endorphin-containing keratinocytes and immune cells in the inflamed skin tissues were detected by double-immunofluorescence labeling. The CB2R agonist AM1241 or EA significantly reduced thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, whereas the selective μ-opioid receptor antagonist β-funaltrexamine significantly attenuated the antinociceptive effect produced by them. AM1241 or EA significantly increased the mRNA level of POMC and the protein level of β-endorphin in inflamed skin tissues, and these effects were significantly attenuated by pretreatment with the CB2R antagonist AM630. AM1241 or EA also significantly increased the percentage of β-endorphin-immunoreactive keratinocytes, macrophages, and T-lymphocytes in inflamed skin tissues, and these effects were blocked by AM630.
EA and CB2R stimulation reduce inflammatory pain through activation of μ-opioid receptors. EA increases endogenous opioid expression in keratinocytes and infiltrating immune cells at the inflammatory site through CB2R activation.
acupuncture; inflammatory pain; β-endorphin; cannabinoid CB2 receptors; μ-opioid receptors
Hepatic stem cells (oval cells) proliferate within the liver after exposure to a variety of hepatic carcinogens and can generate both hepatocytes and bile duct cells. Oval cell proliferation is commonly seen in the preneoplastic stages of liver carcinogenesis, often accompanied by an inflammatory response. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an inflammatory cytokine, is also important in liver regeneration and hepatocellular growth. The experiments reported here explore the relationship among the TNF inflammatory pathway, liver stem cell activation, and tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that TNF is upregulated during oval cell proliferation induced by a choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented diet and that it is expressed by oval cells. In TNF receptor type 1 knockout mice, oval cell proliferation is substantially impaired and tumorigenesis is reduced. Oval cell proliferation is impaired to a lesser extent in interleukin 6 knockout mice and is unchanged in TNF receptor type 2 knockout mice. These findings demonstrate that TNF signaling participates in the proliferation of oval cells during the preneoplastic phase of liver carcinogenesis and that loss of signaling through the TNF receptor type 1 reduces the incidence of tumor formation. The TNF inflammatory pathway may be a target for therapeutic intervention during the early stages of liver carcinogenesis.
cytokines; carcinoma, hepatocellular; interleukin 6; stem cells; liver regeneration
Melicope ptelefolia is a medicinal herb commonly used in Malaysia to treat fever, pain, wounds, and itches. The present study was conducted to evaluate the antinociceptive activity of the Melicope ptelefolia ethanolic extract (MPEE) using animal models of nociception. The antinociceptive activity of the extract was assessed using acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing, hot-plate, and formalin-induced paw licking tests. Oral administration of MPEE produced significant dose-dependent antinociceptive effects when tested in mice and rats using acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction test and on the second phase of the formalin-induced paw licking test, respectively. It was also demonstrated that MPEE had no effect on the response latency time to the heat stimulus in the thermal model of the hot-plate test. In addition, the antinociception produced by MPEE was not blocked by naloxone. Furthermore, oral administration of MPEE did not produce any effect in motor performance of the rota-rod test and in acute toxicity study no abnormal behaviors as well as mortality were observed up to a dose level of the extract of 5 g/kg. These results indicated that MPEE at all doses investigated which did not produce any sedative and toxic effects exerted pronounce antinociceptive activity that acts peripherally in experimental animals.
Gabapentin decreases the level of glutamate and elevates that of alpha-amino-butyric acid in the central nervous system. Gabapentin was shown to have antinociceptive effects in several facilitated pain models. Intrathecal gabapentin was also known to be effective in reducing mechanical allodynia in animals with neuropathic pain. In this study, we investigated to see whether intrathecal gabapentin produces antihyperalgesic effects on thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in neuropathic rats and whether its effects are associated with motor impairment. To induce neuropathic pain in Sprague-Dawley rats, left L5 and L6 spinal nerves were ligated. After a week, lumbar catheterization into subarachnoid space was performed. Then, paw withdrawal times to thermal stimuli and vocalization thresholds to paw pressure were determined before and up to 2 hr after intrathecal injection of gabapentin. Also, motor functions including performance times on rota-rod were determined. Intrathecal gabapentin attenuated significantly thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in neuropathic rats, but did not block thermal and mechanical nociception in sham-operated rats. Intrathecal gabapentin of antihyperalgesic doses inhibited motor coordination performance without evident ambulatory dysfunction. This study demonstrates that intrathecal gabapentin is effective against thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia, in spite of moderate impairment of motor coordination.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAchR) are key receptors in the autonomic nervous system, but also are present on immune cells. The alpha seven subunit of nAchR (α7nAchR) suppresses pro-inflammation in peripheral monocytes by decreasing proinflammatory cytokine production. In spinal cord, α7nAchR are found on microglia, which are known to induce and maintain pain. We predicted that α7nAchR agonists might attenuate intrathecal HIV-1 gp120-induced, proinflammatory cytokine- and microglia-dependent mechanical allodynia. Choline, a precursor for acetylcholine and selective agonist for α7nAchR, was administered intrathecally either with, or 30 min after, intrathecal gp120. Choline significantly blocked and reversed gp120 induced mechanical allodynia for at least 4 hr after drug administration. In addition, intrathecal choline, delivered either with or 30 min after gp120, reduced gp120-induced IL-1β protein and pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNAs within the lumbar spinal cord. A second α7nAchR agonist, GTS-21, also significantly reversed gp120-induced mechanical allodynia and lumbar spinal cord levels of proinflammatory cytokine mRNAs and IL-1β protein. A role of microglia is suggested by the observation that intrathecal choline suppressed the gp120-induced expression of, cd11b, a macrophage/microglial activation marker. Taken together, the data support that α7nAchR may be a novel target for treating pain where microglia maintain the proinflammatory state within the spinal cord.
pain; choline; intrathecal; rats; tumor necrosis factor
Nerve injury and consequent inflammatory responses produced by surgical incision result in a complicated pain status which still affects half of all surgical patients. Therefore, it is essential for anesthesiologists to identify the mechanisms of postoperative pain. Mast cells are resident cells of connective tissue and the mucosa that participate in the immune response. Degranulation of mast cells is involved in the development of postoperative pain and can be induced by surgical incision. The aim of this study was to investigate whether stabilization of mast cells causes an antinociceptive effect in a mouse model of postoperative pain.
Postoperative pain was induced by making an incision in the hind paw of BALB/c mice. The mast cell membrane stabilizer cromoglycate (200 μg/20 μL) was injected before incision of the paw, and postoperative pain responses were measured by assessing guarding behavior, withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimuli, and latency of heat pain behavior 1, 2, and 7 days after the incision.
The incision produced guarding pain, mechanical allodynia, and heat hypersensitivity. Cromoglycate decreased the guarding pain score (day 1) and the withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimuli (days 1, 2, and 7). However, the withdrawal latency to heat was not affected by cromoglycate treatment.
Cromoglycate significantly attenuated the pain response expressed as guarding pain and mechanical allodynia in a mouse model of postoperative pain. Thus, mast cell activation is likely a mechanism of postoperative pain and is an interesting target for the development of new therapies.
postoperative pain; mast cells; cromoglycate
To investigate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the denatured Naja Naja atra venom (NNAV) in rheumatoid arthritis-associated models, the denatured NNAV (heat treated; 30, 90, 270 μg/kg), the native NNAV (untreated with heat; 90 μg/kg), and Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside (TWP, 15 mg/kg) were administrated orally either prophylactically or therapeutically. We measured time of licking the affected paw in formaldehyde-induced inflammatory model, paw volume in egg-white-induced inflammation, and granuloma weight in formalin-soaked filter paper-induced granuloma. For adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, paw edema, mechanical withdrawal threshold, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-10, and histopathological changes of the affected paw were assessed. We found that the denatured NNAV (90, 270 μg/kg) significantly reduced time of licking paw, paw volume, and granuloma weight in above inflammatory models and also attenuated paw edema, mechanical hyperalgesia, and histopathology changes in AIA rats. Additionally, the increase in serum TNF-α and the decrease in serum IL-10 in AIA rats were reversed by the denatured NNAV. Although the native NNAV and TWP rendered the similar pharmacological actions on the above four models with less potency than that of the denatured NNAV, these findings demonstrate that oral administration of the denatured NNAV produces antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities on rheumatoid arthritis.
Metabolomics studies hold promise for discovery of pathways linked to disease processes. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents the leading cause of death and morbidity worldwide. A metabolomics approach was used to generate unbiased small molecule metabolic profiles in plasma that predict risk for CVD. Three metabolites of the dietary lipid phosphatidylcholine, namely choline, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), and betaine, were identified and then shown to predict risk for CVD in an independent large clinical cohort. Dietary supplementation of mice with choline, TMAO or betaine promoted up-regulation of multiple macrophage scavenger receptors linked to atherosclerosis, and supplementation with choline or TMAO promoted atherosclerosis. Studies using germ-free mice confirmed a critical role for dietary choline and gut flora in TMAO production, augmented macrophage cholesterol accumulation and foam cell formation. Suppression of intestinal microflora in atherosclerosis-prone mice inhibited dietary choline-enhanced atherosclerosis. Genetic variations controlling expression of flavin monooxygenases (FMOs), an enzymatic source of TMAO, segregated with atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic mice. Discovery of a relationship between gut flora-dependent metabolism of dietary phosphatidylcholine and CVD pathogenesis provides opportunities for development of both novel diagnostic tests and therapeutic approaches for atherosclerotic heart disease.
metabolomics; atherosclerosis; intestinal microbiota; diet; phospholipid; choline
Fucan is a term that defines a family of homo- and hetero-polysaccharides containing sulfated l-fucose in its structure. In this work, a heterofucan (F2.0v) from the seaweed, Dictyota menstrualis, was evaluated as an antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory agent. F2.0v (20.0 mg/kg) inhibits 100% of leukocyte migration into the peritoneal cavity after chemical stimulation. However, F2.0v does not alter the expression of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), as well as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). F2.0v (20.0 mg/kg) has peripheral antinociceptive activity with potency similar to dipyrone. On the other hand, it had no effect on pain response on the hot plate test. Confocal microscopy analysis and flow cytometry showed that F2.0v binds to the surface of leucocytes, which leads us to suggest that the mechanism of action of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive F2.0v is related to its ability to inhibit the migration of leukocytes to the site of tissue injury. In summary, the data show that F2.0v compound has great potential as an antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory, and future studies will be performed to further characterize the mechanism of action of F2.0v.
fucan; brown seaweed; pain; analgesic; dictyotales
S-(+)-Dicentrine is an aporphinic alkaloid found in several plant species, mainly from Lauraceae family, which showed significant antinociceptive activity in an acute model of visceral pain in mice. In this work, we extended the knowledge on the antinociceptive properties of S-(+)-dicentrine and showed that this alkaloid also attenuates mechanical and cold hypersensitivity associated with cutaneous inflammation induced by Complete Freund’s Adjuvant in mice. Given orally, S-(+)-dicentrine (100 mg/kg) reversed CFA-induced mechanical hypersensitivity, evaluated as the paw withdrawal threshold to von Frey hairs, and this effect lasted up to 2 hours. S-(+)-Dicentrine also reversed CFA-induced cold hypersensitivity, assessed as the responses to a drop of acetone in the injured paw, but did not reverse the heat hypersensitivity, evaluated as the latency time to paw withdrawal in the hot plate (50°C). Moreover, S-(+)-dicentrine (100 mg/kg, p.o.) was effective in inhibit nociceptive responses to intraplantar injections of cinnamaldehyde, a TRPA1 activator, but not the responses induced by capsaicin, a TRPV1 activator. When administered either by oral or intraplantar routes, S-(+)-dicentrine reduced the licking time (spontaneous nociception) and increased the latency time to paw withdrawal in the cold plate (cold hypersensitivity), both induced by the intraplantar injection of cinnamaldehyde. Taken together, our data adds information about antinociceptive properties of S-(+)-dicentrine in inflammatory conditions, reducing spontaneous nociception and attenuating mechanical and cold hypersensitivity, probably via a TRPA1-dependent mechanism. It also indicates that S-(+)-dicentrine might be potentially interesting in the development of new clinically relevant drugs for the management of persistent pain, especially under inflammatory conditions.
Exercise decreases the antinociceptive effects of opiate drugs. It has been hypothesized that the exercise-induced attenuation of opiate drug action is the result of the development of cross-tolerance between endogenous opioids released during exercise and exogenous opiates. The present study was designed to evaluate the role of exercise on non-opiate antinociception. Female Long-Evans rats were allowed ad lib access to running wheels. After three weeks, antinociceptive responses of animals were measured using the tail flick test following the administration of clonidine or nicotine. Nicotine and clonidine both produced dose-dependent increases in antinociceptive responses. Active animals were significantly less sensitive to nicotine-induced antinociception than inactive animals. There was no difference between the two groups in clonidine-induced antinociception. The results of these experiments suggest that exercise does not attenuate non-opioid, clonidine-induced antinociception. However, exercise does attenuate nicotine-induced antinociception. Therefore, the effect of persistent exercise on analgesic drugs is not specific to opiates.
exercise; opioids; antinociception; nicotine; clonidine; female rats
Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic cytokine that induces opioid receptor transcription. We investigated IL-4 knockout (ko) mice to characterize their pain behavior before and after chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve as a model for neuropathic pain. We investigated opioid responsivity and measured cytokine and opioid receptor gene expression in the peripheral and central nervous system (PNS, CNS) of IL-4 ko mice in comparison with wildtype (wt) mice. Naïve IL-4 ko mice displayed tactile allodynia (wt: 0.45 g; ko: 0.18 g; p<0.001), while responses to heat and cold stimuli and to muscle pressure were not different. No compensatory changes in the gene expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), IL-1β, IL-10, and IL-13 were found in the PNS and CNS of naïve IL-4 ko mice. However, IL-1β gene expression was stronger in the sciatic nerve of IL-4 ko mice (p<0.001) 28 days after CCI and only IL-4 ko mice had elevated IL-10 gene expression (p = 0.014). Remarkably, CCI induced TNF (p<0.01), IL-1β (p<0.05), IL-10 (p<0.05), and IL-13 (p<0.001) gene expression exclusively in the ipsilateral spinal cord of IL-4 ko mice. The compensatory overexpression of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic cytokines IL-10 and IL-13 in the spinal cord of IL-4 ko mice may explain the lack of genotype differences for pain behavior after CCI. Additionally, CCI induced gene expression of μ, κ, and δ opioid receptors in the contralateral cortex and thalamus of IL-4 ko mice, paralleled by fast onset of morphine analgesia, but not in wt mice. We conclude that a lack of IL-4 leads to mechanical sensitivity; the compensatory hyperexpression of analgesic cytokines and opioid receptors after CCI, in turn, protects IL-4 ko mice from enhanced pain behavior after nerve lesion.
Cannabinoids induce analgesia by acting on cannabinoid receptor (CBR) types 1 and/or 2. However, central nervous system side effects and antinociceptive tolerance from CBR1 limit their clinical use. CBR2 exist on spinal glia and perivascular cells, suggesting an immunoregulatory role of these receptors in the central nervous system. Previously, the authors showed that spinal CBR2 activation reduces paw incision hypersensitivity and glial activation. This study tested whether CBR2 are expressed in glia and whether their activation would induce antinociception, glial inhibition, central side effects, and antinociceptive tolerance in a neuropathic rodent pain model.
Rats underwent L5 spinal nerve transection or sham surgery, and CBR2 expression and cell localization were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Animals received intrathecal injections of CBR agonists and antagonists, and mechanical withdrawal thresholds and behavioral side effects were assessed.
Peripheral nerve transection induced hypersensitivity, increased expression of CR3/CD11b and CBR2, and reduced ED2/CD163 expression in the spinal cord. The CBR2 were localized to microglia and perivascular cells. Intrathecal JWH015 reduced peripheral nerve injury hypersensitivity and CR3/CD11b expression and increased ED2/CD163 expression in a dose-dependent fashion. These effects were prevented by intrathecal administration of the CBR2 antagonist (AM630) but not the CBR1 antagonist (AM281). JWH015 did not cause behavioral side effects. Chronic intrathecal JWH015 treatment did not induce antinociceptive tolerance.
These data indicate that intrathecal CBR2 agonists may provide analgesia by modulating the spinal immune response and microglial function in chronic pain conditions without inducing tolerance and neurologic side effects.
The present study examined the effects of the mGluR1 antagonist JNJ16259685 (JNJ) and the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP alone and in combination with morphine in two acute pain models (hotplate, warm water tail-withdrawal), and a persistent, inflammatory pain model (capsaicin). In the hotplate and warm water tail-withdrawal procedures, JNJ and MPEP were ineffective when administered alone. In both procedures, JNJ potentiated morphine antinociception. In the hot plate procedure, MPEP potentiated morphine antinociception at the highest dose examined, whereas in the warm water tail-withdrawal procedure MPEP attenuated morphine antinociception at a moderate dose and potentiated morphine antinociception at a high dose. For both JNJ and MPEP, the magnitude of this morphine potentiation was considerably greater in the hotplate procedure. In the capsaicin procedure, the highest dose of MPEP produced intermediate levels of antihyperalgesia and also attenuated the effects of a dose of morphine that produced intermediate levels of antihyperalgesia. In contrast, JNJ had no effect when administered alone in the capsaicin procedure and did not alter morphine-induced antihyperalgesia. The present findings suggest that the effects produced by mGluR1 and mGluR5 antagonists alone and in combination with morphine can be differentiated in models of both acute and persistent pain.
MPEP; JNJ16259685; capsaicin; morphine; acute pain; persistent pain; metabotropic glutamate antagonists; potentiation; rat
Supplementation of maternal diet with the essential nutrient, choline, during the second half of pregnancy in rats causes long-lasting improvements in spatial memory in the offspring and protects them from the memory decline characteristic of old age. In contrast, prenatal choline deficiency is associated with poor performance in certain cognitive tasks. The mechanism by which choline influences learning and memory remains unclear; however, it may involve changes to the hippocampal cholinergic system. Previously, we showed that the hippocampi of prenatally [embryonic days (E) 11–17] choline-deficient animals have increased synthesis of acetylcholine (ACh) from choline transported by the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT) and reduced ACh content relative to the control and to the E11–17 choline-supplemented rats. In the current study, we found that, during postnatal period [postnatal days (P) 18-P480)], prenatal choline deficiency increased the expression of CHT mRNA in the septum and CHT mRNA and protein levels in the hippocampus and altered the pattern of CHT immunoreactivity in the dentate gyrus. CHT immunoreactivity was more prominent in the inner molecular layer in prenatally choline-deficient rats compared to controls and prenatally choline-supplemented animals. In addition, in all groups, we observed a population of hilar interneurons that were CHT immunoreactive. These neurons are the likely source of the hippocampal CHT mRNA as their number correlated with the levels of this mRNA. The abundance of hippocampal CHT mRNA rose between P1 and P24 and then declined reaching 60% of the P1 value by P90. These data show that prenatal availability of choline alters its own metabolism (i.e. CHT expression). While the upregulated CHT expression during the period of prenatal choline deficiency may be considered as a compensatory mechanism that could enhance ACh synthesis when choline supply is low, the persistent upregulation of CHT expression subsequent to the brief period of prenatal deprivation of choline in utero might be beneficial during choline deficiency in adulthood.
choline transporter; acetylcholine; hippocampus; septum; nutrition; pregnancy
Hilleria latifolia (Lam.) H. Walt. (Phytolaccaceae) is a perennial herb used in Ghanaian traditional medicine for the treatment of various painful conditions. Little scientific evidence exists in literature on the effect of this plant on pain.
Materials and Methods:
The present study examined the antinociceptive effect of the ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of H. latifolia in chemical (acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing, glutamate, formalin, and capsaicin tests) and thermal (tail immersion test) behavioral pain models in rodents. The possible mechanisms of the antinociceptive action were also assessed with various antagonists in the formalin test.
The H. latifolia extract (HLE) together with morphine and diclofenac (positive controls), showed significant antinociceptive activity in all the models used. The antinociceptive effect exhibited by HLE in the formalin test was partly or wholly reversed by the systemic administration of naloxone, theophylline, and atropine. Glibenclamide, ondansetron, yohimbine, nifedipine, and NG-L-nitro-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), however, did not significantly block the antinociceptive effect of the extract. HLE, unlike morphine, did not induce tolerance to its antinociceptive effect in the formalin test after chronic administration; morphine tolerance did not also cross-generalize to HLE. Interestingly, also, the chronic concomitant administration of HLE and morphine significantly suppressed the development of morphine tolerance.
Together, these results indicate that HLE produces dose-related antinociception in several models of chemical and thermal pain, without tolerance induction, through mechanisms that involve an interaction with adenosinergic, muscarinic cholinergic, and opioid pathways.
Formalin; Hilleria latifolia; opioid tolerance; tail immersion; writhing
Herkinorin is the first μ opioid (MOP) selective agonist derived from salvinorin A, a hallucinogenic natural product. Previous work has shown that, unlike other opioids, herkinorin does not promote the recruitment of β-arrestin-2 to the MOP receptor and does not lead to receptor internalization. This paper presents the first in vivo evaluation of herkinorin’s antinociceptive effects in rats, using the formalin test as a model of tonic inflammatory pain. Herkinorin was found to produce a dose-dependent decrease in the number of flinches evoked by formalin. These antinociceptive effects were substantially blocked by pretreatment with the nonselective antagonist naloxone, indicating that the antinociception is mediated by opioid receptors. Contralateral administration of herkinorin did not attenuate the number of flinches evoked by formalin, indicating that its effects are peripherally restricted to the site of injection. Following chronic administration (5-day), herkinorin maintained antinociceptive efficacy in both phases of the formalin test. Furthermore, unlike morphine, herkinorin was still able to inhibit flinching in both phases of the formalin test in animals made tolerant to chronic systemic morphine treatment. Collectively, these results suggest that herkinorin may produce peripheral antinociception with decreased tolerance liability and thereby represents a promising template for the development of agents for the treatment of a variety of pain states.
MOP receptors; herkinorin; β-arrestin-2; morphine; tolerance; formalin
The effect of spinal adrenergic and cholinergic receptors on the anti-nociceptive effect of intrathecal ginsenosides was determined in a rat postoperative pain model.
Catheters were placed into the intrathecal space of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Postoperative pain was evoked by an incision to the plantar surface of a hind paw. Withdrawal thresholds was used as a nociceptive parameter and was measured with a von Frey filament. After observing the effect of intrathecal ginsenosides, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist (prazosin), an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist (yohimbine), a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist (atropine), and a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist (mecamylamine) were given 10 min before administration of the ginsenosides to analyze the contribution of spinal adrenergic and cholinergic receptors on the antinociceptive effect of ginsenosides.
Paw incision decreased withdrawal threshold in incised site of paw, but no change of withdrawal threshold was not seen in non-incised site. The intrathecal ginsenosides increased withdrawal threshold of the incised paw in a dose-dependent manner. Pre-treatment with both prazosin and intrathecal yohimbine antagonized the anti-nociceptive effect of the ginsenosides. However, pre-treatments with atropine or mecamylamine had any effect on the antinociceptive activity of ginsenosides.
Intrathecal ginsenosides are effective in attenuation of postoperative pain induced in the rat model. Anti-nociceptive action of ginsenosides is partially mediated by spinal adrenergic receptors, but does not appear to be related to spinal cholinergic receptors.
Adrenergic receptors; Ginsenosides; Intrathecal; Postoperative pain; Spinal cord
Liver fibrosis is associated with infiltrating immune cells and activation of hepatic stellate cells. We here aimed to investigate the effects of the CC chemokine CCL3, also known as macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, in two different fibrosis models. To this end, we treated mice either with carbon tetrachloride or with a methionine- and choline-deficient diet to induce fibrosis in CCL3 deficient and wild-type mice. The results show that the protein expression of CCL3 is increased in wild-type mice after chronic liver injury. Deletion of CCL3 exhibited reduced liver fibrosis compared to their wild-type counterparts. We could validate these results by treating the two mouse groups with either carbon tetrachloride or by feeding a methionine- and choline-deficient diet. In these models, lack of CCL3 is functionally associated with reduced stellate cell activation and liver immune cell infiltration. In vitro, we show that CCL3 leads to increased proliferation and migration of hepatic stellate cells. In conclusion, our results define the chemokine CCL3 as a mediator of experimental liver fibrosis. Thus, therapeutic modulation of CCL3 might be a promising target for chronic liver diseases.
Accumulating evidence indicates that increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to the development of exaggerated pain hypersensitivity during persistent pain. In the present study, we investigated the antinociceptive efficacy of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. We show that systemic administration of a combination of vitamins C and E inhibited the early behavioral responses to formalin injection and the neuropathic pain behavior after peripheral nerve injury, but not the inflammatory pain behavior induced by Complete Freund's Adjuvant. In contrast, vitamin C or vitamin E given alone failed to affect the nociceptive behavior in all tested models. The attenuated neuropathic pain behavior induced by the vitamin C and E combination was paralleled by a reduced p38 phosphorylation in the spinal cord and in dorsal root ganglia, and was also observed after intrathecal injection of the vitamins. Moreover, the vitamin C and E combination ameliorated the allodynia induced by an intrathecally delivered ROS donor. Our results suggest that administration of vitamins C and E in combination may exert synergistic antinociceptive effects, and further indicate that ROS essentially contribute to nociceptive processing in special pain states.