Morphine and ABT-594 (a nicotinic acetylcholine agonist) exert centrally mediated antinociception in the rat cyclophosphamide cystitis model of visceral pain

S K Joshi, Joe P Mikusa, Brenda Weaver, Prisca Honore
Journal of Pain 2008, 9 (2): 146-56

UNLABELLED: A visceral pain model incorporating use of cyclophosphamide (CP) to induce bladder inflammation has been described. CP treatment in rats produces changes in behavior (abnormal postures and eye closure) and respiration rate indicative of visceral pain. We characterized the dose-dependency and progression of CP-induced cystitis pain after intraperitoneal (i.p.) CP. The behavioral and respiration rate changes were ameliorated by systemic morphine and ABT-594 [(R)-5-(2-azetidinylmethoxy)-2-chloropyridine], a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, in a manner reversible by naloxone and mecamylamine, respectively. Sites of antinociceptive actions of morphine and ABT-594 were investigated using systemic, intrathecal (i.t.), or intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of blood-brain barrier impenetrant antagonists. Naloxone methiodide produced a complete antagonism of morphine antinociception after i.c.v. but not i.p. or i.t. administration. Chlorisondamine blocked ABT-594 antinociception after i.c.v. but not i.p. administration. Further pharmacological characterization of behavioral and respiration changes in CP-cystitis was performed using standard analgesics. The alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine produced a weak attenuation of CP-pain behavior. NSAIDs (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and celecoxib) and anticonvulsants (gabapentin and lamotrigine) were without effect. These results demonstrate that morphine and ABT-594 produce antinociception in CP-cystitis by a predominantly supraspinal site of action, and that mechanisms producing robust centrally-mediated antinociception could be beneficial in cystitis pain.

PERSPECTIVE: In this article, potential antinociceptive effects of a variety of pharmacological agents were evaluated in a rat cystitis pain model. Morphine and a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist ABT-594 were found to exert potent antinociception in this model. Findings presented here aid identification of agents to treat cystitis pain in the clinic.

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