Antiallodynic Effects of Endomorphin-1 and Endomorphin-2 in the Spared Nerve Injury Model of Neuropathic Pain in Mice

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BACKGROUND:The spared nerve injury (SNI) model is a new animal model that can mimic several characteristics of clinical neuropathic pain. Opioids are recommended as treatment of neuropathic pain. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the antinociceptive effects of endomorphin-1 (EM-1) and endomorphin-2 (EM-2) given centrally and peripherally in the SNI model of neuropathic pain in mice.METHODS:The SNI model was made in mice by sparing the sural nerve intact, when the other 2 of 3 terminal branches of the sciatic nerve (common peroneal and tibial nerves) were tightly ligated and cut. Von Frey monofilaments were used to measure the SNI-induced mechanical allodynia-like behavior. The antiallodynic effects of EM-1 and EM-2 were determined after central and peripheral administration in the SNI model of neuropathic pain. Also, the specific opioid receptor antagonists were used to determine the opioid mechanisms of EMs involved in neuropathic pain. Values were expressed as the mean ± standard deviation.RESULTS:Our results showed that the SNI mice developed prolonged mechanical allodynia-like behavior in ipsilateral paw after surgery, with the withdrawal threshold value being 0.061 ± 0.02 g after 14 days. EM-1 and EM-2 produced significant antiallodynic effects in ipsilateral paw after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration, more effective than that of morphine. The peak withdrawal thresholds of 10 nmol EM-1 and EM-2 determined at 5 minutes after injection were 0.92 ± 0.36 and 0.87 ± 0.33 g, respectively, higher than that of morphine (0.46 ± 0.20 g). Moreover, both EMs (10 nmol, i.c.v.) exerted significant antiallodynic effects in the contralateral paw, whereas no significant antinociceptive activity was seen after i.c.v. administration of morphine with equimolar dose. It was noteworthy that EM-1 and EM-2 produced antinociception through distinct μ1- and μ2-opioid receptor subtypes, and the EM-2-induced antiallodynia contained an additional component that was mediated by the release of endogenous dynorphin A, acting on κ-opioid receptor. In addition, the antiallodynic activities of peripheral administration of EM-1, EM-2, and morphine were also investigated. Intraplantar, but not subcutaneous administration of EM-1 and EM-2 also exhibited potent antinociception, establishing the peripheral and local effects. Both μ1- and μ2-opioid receptor subtypes, but not the δ- or κ-opioid receptors were involved in the peripheral antiallodynia of EMs.CONCLUSIONS:The present investigation demonstrated that both EM-1 and EM-2 given centrally and peripherally produced potent antiallodynic activities in SNI mice, and differential opioid mechanisms were involved.

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