Comparison of the peripheral antinociceptive effect of somatostatin with bupivacaine and morphine in the rodent postoperative pain model

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Infiltration of surgical wound with local anaesthetics attenuate postoperative pain. However, side effects can also occur. Somatostatin (SST) and its analogues like octreotide reportedly reduce peripheral sensitisation. The current study evaluates peripherally mediated antinociceptive effect of SST in a rat model of postoperative pain. This was compared with bupivacaine and morphine under identical experimental conditions.


Randomised vehicle-controlled blind study.


Pain research laboratory, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi from February 2014 to July 2017.


Rodent hind paw incision model.


Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to incision and one of the following drugs administered into the open wound once by a micropipette: SST (10, 30 or 100 μg), bupivacaine (3, 10, 30, 50 or 100 μg) or morphine (100 μg). Antinociceptive effect of SST was further evaluated for its reversibility, site of action, effect on spinal c-fos expression and blood glucose level. The site of action of morphine was also investigated.


Nociception was estimated by nonevoked (guarding behaviour) and evoked (mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia) pain behaviours between 2 h and days 4 to 7.


Nociception was maximum 2 h after incision. SST (10 to 100 μg) significantly attenuated guarding behaviour between 2 h and day 2. A delayed inhibitory effect was observed on allodynia. Bupivacaine (10 to 100 μg doses) similarly decreased guarding score up to day 2 though evoked pain behaviours were relatively unaffected. In contrast, morphine produced a potent but transient inhibitory effect on guarding score at 2 h, which was mediated by both peripheral and central opioid receptors. The antinociceptive effect of SST was peripherally mediated by type 2 receptors and was associated with decreased c-fos staining. Blood glucose level was unaltered.


Guarding behaviour, which likely represents pain-at-rest following surgery, was attenuated by both bupivacaine and SST to comparable extents. This novel peripherally mediated antinociceptive effect of SST needs further evaluation.

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