Pharmacological characterization of standard analgesics on mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Hiroko Yamamoto, Yukinori Shimoshige, Takayuki Yamaji, Nobuhito Murai, Toshiaki Aoki, Nobuya Matsuoka
Neuropharmacology 2009, 57 (4): 403-8
The present study was designed to investigate the anti-allodynic effects of current analgesic agents, such as pregabalin, amitriptyline, mexiletine, morphine, and diclofenac, in a rat model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic rats developed a sustained decrease in withdrawal threshold response to the von Frey test within 8 weeks after a single injection of STZ (45 mg/kg, i.v.). The anti-allodynic effects of analgesic agents were examined after a single oral or subcutaneous administration at 3 and 7 weeks after beginning of STZ-treatment. Pregabalin (3-30 mg/kg, p.o.), an antiepileptic agent, dose-dependently blocked the mechanical allodynia in rats treated both at 3 and 7 weeks. Mexiletine (10-100 mg/kg, p.o.), a sodium channel blocker, dose-dependently ameliorated mechanical allodynia in rats treated at 3 weeks; however, the efficacy was diminished at 7 weeks. Morphine (1-10 mg/kg, s.c.) was effective in rats treated at 3 weeks; however, it was ineffective at 7 weeks. Conversely, an antidepressant amitriptyline (0.3-3 mg/kg, p.o.) improved mechanical allodynia in rats treated at 7 weeks, whereas it was ineffective at 3 weeks. Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, was ineffective at both time points. These results demonstrate that, except for diclofenac, the standard analgesic agents tested can effectively alleviate the mechanical allodynia seen in STZ-induced diabetic neuropathy. Their efficacies varied depending on the duration of the diabetic condition, suggesting that temporal changes in pharmacodynamic factors could affect the responsiveness of this model to analgesic agents.

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