Fentanyl produces an anti-hyperalgesic effect through the suppression of sodium channels in mice with painful diabetic neuropathy

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Abstract

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most frequent complications of diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the anti-hyperalgesic mechanism of fentanyl in a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathy. The antinociceptive response was assessed by recording the latency in a tail-flick test. The tail-flick latency in diabetic mice was significantly shorter than that in non-diabetic mice. Fentanyl, at doses of 3 and 10 μg/kg, s.c., produced a dose-dependent increase in the tail-flick latencies in diabetic mice. While fentanyl (3 μg/kg, s.c.) did not produce a significant inhibition of the tail-flick response in non-diabetic mice, it significantly prolonged the tail-flick latency in diabetic mice to the same level as the baseline latency in non-diabetic mice. Although pretreatment with naloxone (3 mg/kg, s.c.) completely antagonized fentanyl-induced antinociception in non-diabetic mice, it had no effect on the antinociceptive effect of fentanyl in diabetic mice. Pretreatment with either of the voltage-gated sodium channel openers fenvarelarte and veratridine practically abolished the antinociceptive effects of fentanyl in diabetic mice. However, neither fenvarelate nor veratridine affected the antinociceptive effect of fentanyl in non-diabetic mice. These results suggest that the anti-hyperalgesic effect of fentanyl is mediated through the blockade of sodium channels in diabetic mice, whereas opioid receptors mediate the antinociceptive effect of fentanyl in non-diabetic mice.

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