Possible involvement of cholinergic and opioid receptor mechanisms in fluoxetine mediated antinociception response in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice

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Clinical and experimental studies have been reported that antidepressant drugs can be used as co-analgesics in the management of neuropathic pain. However, the mechanism through which they alleviate pain still remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible mechanism of action of fluoxetine-induced antinociceptive effect in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, especially the involvement of non-serotonergic neurotransmitters and their receptors. Diabetes was induced in male Laka mice with a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (200 mg/kg). Four weeks after streptozotocin, diabetic mice were tested for pain responses in the tail-immersion and hot-plate assays. Diabetic mice exhibited significant hyperalgesia as compared with control mice. Fluoxetine (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p) injected into diabetic mice produced an antinociceptive effect in both tail-immersion and hot-plate assays. The antinociceptive effect of fluoxetine in diabetic mice was significantly lower as compared with that in control mice. Pretreatment with a muscarinic receptor antagonist, atropine (2 and 5 mg/kg, i.p) and an opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone (2 and 5 mg/kg, i.p), but not the α2-adrenoreceptor antagonist, yohimbine (2 and 5 mg/kg, i.p) reversed the antinociceptive effect of fluoxetine (20 mg/kg). These results suggest that apart from serotonin pathway, muscarinic and opioid receptors also participate in fluoxetine-induced antinociception in diabetic neuropathic pain.

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