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Diclofenac-induced peripheral antinociception is associated with ATP-sensitive K+ channels activation

Daniela P Alves, Maria A F Tatsuo, Romulo Leite, Igor D G Duarte
Life Sciences 2004 April 2, 74 (20): 2577-91
In order to investigate to the contribution of K+ channels on the peripheral antinociception induced by diclofenac, we evaluated the effect of several K+ channel blockers, using the rat paw pressure test, in which sensitivity is increased by intraplantar injection (2 microg) of prostaglandin E2. Diclofenac administered locally into the right hindpaw (25, 50, 100 and 200 microg) elicited a dose-dependent antinociceptive effect which was demonstrated to be local, since only higher doses produced an effect when injected in the contralateral paw. This blockade of PGE2 mechanical hyperalgesia induced by diclofenac (100 microg/paw) was antagonized in a dose-dependent manner by intraplantar administration of the sulphonylureas glibenclamide (40, 80 and 160 microg) and tolbutamide (80, 160 and 320 microg), specific blockers of ATP-sensitive K+ channels, and it was observed even when the hyperalgesic agent used was carrageenin, while the antinociceptive action of indomethacin (200 microg/paw), a typical cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, over carrageenin-induced hyperalgesia was not affected by this treatment. Charybdotoxin (2 microg/paw), a blocker of large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels and dequalinium (50 microg/paw), a selective blocker of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, did not modify the effect of diclofenac. This effect was also unaffected by intraplantar administration of non-specific voltage-dependent K+ channel blockers tetraethylammonium (1700 microg) and 4-aminopyridine (100 microg) or cesium (500 microg), a non-specific K+ channel blocker. The peripheral antinociceptive effect induced by diclofenac was antagonized by NG-Nitro L-arginine (NOarg, 50 microg/paw), a NO synthase inhibitor and methylene blue (MB, 500 microg/paw), a guanylate cyclase inhibitor, and this antagonism was reversed by diazoxide (300 microg/paw), an ATP-sensitive K+ channel opener. We also suggest that an endogenous opioid system may not be involved since naloxone (50 microg/paw) did not affect diclofenac-induced antinociception in the PGE2-induced hyperalgesia model. This study provides evidence that the peripheral antinociceptive effect of diclofenac may result from activation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels, possible involving stimulation of L-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway, while Ca2+-activated K+ channels, voltage-dependent K+ channels as well as endogenous opioids appear not to be involved in the process.


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