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Contulakin-G is a novel conopeptide with an incompletely defined mechanism of action. To assess nociceptive activity we delivered Contulakin-G as a bolus intrathecally (0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 3 nmol) or epidurally (10, 30, 89 nmol) in rats. Intrathecal Contulakin G significantly decreased Phase II and, to a lesser degree, Phase I paw flinching produced by intradermal formalin. Intrathecal and epidural doses of ED50s were 0.07 nmol and 45 nmol, respectively, giving an epidural/intrathecal ED50 ratio = 647). In dogs, intrathecal Contulakin-G (50-500 nmoL) produced a dose-dependent increase in the thermally evoked skin twitch latency by 30 min after administration, as did morphine (150 and 450 nmol). Epidural morphine (750 and 7500 nmol), but not epidural 1000 nmol Contulakin-G, also significantly decreased skin twitch in dogs. No changes in motor function were seen in any rats or dogs receiving these doses of Contulakin-G. In dogs, no physiologically significant dose-dependent changes in motor function, heart rate, arterial blood pressure, or body temperature were found. Contulakin-G is a potent antinociceptive drug when delivered intrathecally with no observable negative side effects in rats or dogs and may provide an alternative to opioid spinal analgesics.