The Antiallodynic Effects of Nefopam Are Mediated by the Adenosine Triphosphate–Sensitive Potassium Channel in a Neuropathic Pain Model

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Nefopam hydrochloride is a centrally acting compound that induces antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic properties in neuropathic pain models. Previous reports have shown that activation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive and calcium-activated potassium (KATP and KCa2+) channels has antiallodynic effects in neuropathic pain. In the present study, we evaluated the relationship between potassium channels and nefopam to determine whether the antiallodynic effects of nefopam are mediated by potassium channels in a neuropathic pain model.


Mechanical allodynia was induced by spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats, and the paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) was evaluated by the use of von Frey filaments. Nefopam was administered intraperitoneally before or after SNL. We assessed the relationship between nefopam and intrathecal injection of the KCa2+ channel antagonists apamin and charybdotoxin, and the KATP channel blocker glibenclamide to assess their abilities to reverse the antiallodynic effects of nefopam. In addition, we evaluated whether the KATP channel opener pinacidil had antiallodynic effects and promoted the antiallodynic effects of nefopam.


Administration of nefopam before and after SNL induced significant antiallodynic effects (P < .01, respectively), which were significantly reduced by glibenclamide (P < .01). Pinacidil improved the antiallodynic effects of nefopam (P < .01); however, apamin and charybdotoxin had little effects on the antiallodynic properties of nefopam.


The antiallodynic effects of nefopam are increased by a KATP channel agonist and reversed by a KATP channel antagonist. These data suggest that the KATP channel is involved in the antiallodynic effects of nefopam in a neuropathic pain model.

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