Peripheral antinociceptive effect of pertussis toxin: activation of the arginine/NO/cGMP/PKG/ ATP-sensitive K+ channel pathway

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The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of pertussis toxin (PTX) on inflammatory hypernociception measured by the rat paw pressure test and to elucidate the mechanism involved in this effect. In this test, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) administered subcutaneously induces hypernociception via a mechanism associated with neuronal cAMP increase. Local intraplantar pre-treatment (30 min before), and post-treatment (5 min after) with PTX (600 ng/paw1, in 100 μL) reduced hypernociception induced by prostaglandin E2 (100 ng/paw, in 100 μL, intraplantar). Furthermore, local intraplantar pre-treatment (30 min before) with PTX (600 ng/paw, in 100 μL) reduced hypernociception induced by DbcAMP, a stable analogue of cAMP (100 μg/paw, in 100 μL, intraplantar), which indicates that PTX may have an effect other than just Gi/G0 inhibition. PTX-induced analgesia was blocked by selective inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase (L-NMMA), guanylyl cyclase (ODQ), protein kinase G (KT5823) and ATP-sensitive K+ channel (Kir6) blockers (glybenclamide and tolbutamide). In addition, PTX was shown to induce nitric oxide (NO) production in cultured neurons of the dorsal root ganglia. In conclusion, this study shows a peripheral antinociceptive effect of pertussis toxin, resulting from the activation of the arginine/NO/cGMP/PKG/ATP-sensitive K+ channel pathway.

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