The present study was performed to evaluate the effects of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline on morphine tolerance in rats. Male Wistar rats were implanted with two intrathecal (i.t.) catheters with or without a microdialysis probe, then received a continuous i.t. infusion of saline (control) or morphine (15 microg/h) and/or amitriptyline (15 microg/h) for 5 days. The results showed that amitriptyline alone did not produce an antinociceptive effect, while morphine alone induced antinociceptive tolerance and down-regulation of spinal glutamate transporters (GLAST, GLT-1, and EAAC1) in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. Co-administration of amitriptyline with morphine attenuated morphine tolerance and up-regulated GLAST and GLT-1 expression. On day 5, morphine challenge (10 microg/10 microl) resulted in a significant increase in levels of the excitatory amino acids (EAAs), aspartate and glutamate, in CSF dialysates in morphine-tolerant rats. Amitriptyline co-infusion not only markedly suppressed this morphine-evoked EAA release, but also preserved the antinociceptive effect of acute morphine challenge at the end of infusion. Glial cells activation and increased cytokine expression (TNFalpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6) in the rat spinal cord were induced by the 5-day morphine infusion and these neuroimmune responses were also prevented by amitriptyline co-infusion. These results show that amitriptyline not only attenuates morphine tolerance, but also preserves its antinociceptive effect. The mechanisms involved may include: (a) inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, (b) prevention of glutamate transporter down-regulation, and even up-regulation of glial GTs GLAST and GLT-1 expression, with (c) attenuation of morphine-evoked EAA release following continuous long-term morphine infusion.
The present study was undertaken to examine the effect of amitriptyline on the antinociceptive effect of morphine and its underlying mechanisms in regulating glutamate transporters trafficking in morphine-tolerant rats. Long-term morphine infusion induced antinociceptive tolerance and down-regulation of glutamate transporters (GTs), GLAST, GLT-1, and EAAC1, expression in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. Acute amitriptyline treatment potentiated morphine's antinociceptive effect, with a 5.3-fold leftward shift of morphine's dose-response curve in morphine-tolerant rats, and this was associated with GLAST and GLT-1 trafficking onto the cell surface. Similar to our previous studies, morphine challenge (10 microg/10 microl, i.t.) significant by increased the excitatory amino acids (EAAs) aspartate and glutamate level in the CSF dialysates of morphine-tolerant rats. Acute amitriptyline treatment not only suppressed this morphine-evoked EAA release, but further reduced the EAA concentration than baseline level. Furthermore, long-term morphine infusion up-regulated PKA and PKC protein expression in the spinal cord dorsal horn, while amitriptyline inhibited the increase in expression of phospho-PKA, PKCalpha, PKCbetaII, and PKCgamma. In morphine-tolerant rats, acute treatment with PKA inhibitor H89 and PKC inhibitor Gö6805 attenuated morphine tolerance and the morphine-induced CSF glutamate and aspartate elevation, and induced trafficking of GLAST and GLT-1 from cytosol onto the cell surface. These results show that acute amitriptyline treatment preserved morphine's antinociceptive effect in morphine-tolerant rats; the mechanisms may be involved in inhibition of phospho-PKA and PKC expression, and thus inducing the GLAST and GLT-1 trafficking onto glial cell surface which enhances the EAA uptake from the synaptic cleft and reduces EAA concentration in the spinal CSF.
These results suggest that the antiinflammatory effect of amitriptyline on morphine tolerance, probably acting by increasing IL-10 expression, is mediated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase heme oxygenase-1 signal transduction cascade.
The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of ultra-low-dose naloxone on pertussis toxin (PTX)-induced thermal hyperalgesia in rats and its underlying mechanisms. Male Wistar rats, implanted with an intrathecal catheter with or without a microdialysis probe, received a single intrathecal injection of PTX (1 mg in 5 ml saline). Four days after PTX injection, they were randomly given a different dose of naloxone (either 15 mg or 15 ng in 5 ml saline), followed by a morphine injection (10 mg in 5 ml saline) after 30 min. The results found that PTX injection induced thermal hyperalgesia and increasing excitatory amino acid (EAA; L-glutamate and L-aspartate) concentration in the spinal CSF dialysates. Ultra-low-dose naloxone not only preserved the antinociceptive effect of morphine but also suppressed the PTX-evoked EAA release as well. Moreover, ultra-low-dose naloxone plus morphine administration inhibited the downregulation of L-glutamate transporters (GTs) and the L-glutamate-metabolizing enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS), and, moreover, inhibited microglial activation and suppressed cytokine expression in PTX-treated rat spinal cords. These results show that ultra-low-dose naloxone preserves the antinociceptive effect of morphine in PTX-treated rats. The mechanisms include (a) inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, (b) attenuation of PTX-evoked EAA release, and (c) reversion of the downregulation of GT expression.
Background:The present study examined the effect of P2X receptor antagonist 2Ј,3Ј-O-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl) adenosine 5Ј-triphosphate (TNP-ATP) on morphine tolerance in rats. Methods: Male Wistar rats were implanted with two intrathecal catheters with or without a microdialysis probe, then received a continuous intrathecal infusion of saline (control) or morphine (tolerance induction) for 5 days. Results: Long-term morphine infusion induced antinociceptive tolerance and up-regulated N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits NR1 and NR2B expression in both total lysate and synaptosome fraction of the spinal cord dorsal horn. TNP-ATP (50 g) treatment potentiated the antinociceptive effect of morphine, with a 5.5-fold leftward shift of the morphine dose-response curve in morphine-tolerant rats, and this was associated with reversal of the up-regulated NR1 and NR2B subunits in the synaptosome fraction. NR1/ NR2B-specific antagonist ifenprodil treatment produced a similar effect as TNP-ATP; it also potentiated the antinociceptive effect of morphine. On day 5, morphine challenge resulted in a significant increase in aspartate and glutamate concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid dialysates of morphine-tolerant rats, and this effect was reversed by TNP-ATP treatment. Moreover, the amount of immunoprecipitated postsynaptic density-95/NR1/NR2B complex was increased in morphine-tolerant rats, and this was prevented by the TNP-ATP treatment.
Conclusions:The findings suggest that attenuation of morphine tolerance by TNP-ATP is attributed to down-regulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits NR1 and NR2B expression in the synaptosomal membrane and inhibition of excitatory amino acids release in morphine-tolerant rats. The TNP-ATP regulation on the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor expression may be involved in a loss of scaffolding proteins postsynaptic density-95.O PIOIDS, such as morphine, are a class of powerful analgesics used for treating moderate to severe pain in the clinic. However, long-term administration induces tolerance, which hampers their clinical use.1 Morphine tolerance is a complex physiologic response; in addition to opioid receptor uncoupling and endocytosis/desensitization, 2,3 glutamatergic receptor activation and neuroinflammation has been demonstrated by ourselves and others. 4 -7 The excitatory amino acids (EAAs), glutamate and aspartate, are the principal excitatory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and have a variety of functions, including nociceptive transmission and modification. 8 The glutamatergic receptor system, especially the N-methyl-Daspartate (NMDA) receptor, plays an important role in synaptic plasticity and chronic pain formation.9 NMDA receptors are tetrameric hetero-oligomers consisting of the essential NR1 subunit and one or more modulatory Address correspondence to Dr. Wong: Department of Anesthesiology, Cathay General Hospital, 280 Renai Rd. Sec.4, Taipei, Taiwan. firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org ...
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