Author(s): Eutamene H, Coelho AM, Theodorou V, Toulouse M, Chovet M
Pregabalin [S-(+)-3-isobutylgaba] is a novel compound under development for its analgesic, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant properties, and its interaction with the alpha(2)delta-subunit of voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. In this study, we investigate the antinociceptive activity of pregabalin in a rat model of delayed visceral hyperalgesia induced by i.p. lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration. LPS (Escherichia coli, serotype O111:B4) leads to a delayed lowering threshold (9-12 h) of abdominal contractions in response to rectal distension (RD) in awake rats surgically prepared for electromyography of abdominal muscles. This allodynic effect of LPS was blocked by morphine (0.3 mg/kg s.c.), and the action of morphine was antagonized by naloxone (2.5 mg/kg s.c.). A single i.p. (10, 30 mg/kg) and oral (1, 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg) treatment of pregabalin dose dependently suppressed LPS-induced rectal hypersensitivity. When administered 2 h before RD (but preceded 12 h by LPS injection), the oral dose of 10 mg/kg was effective both in the allodynic response induced by LPS and in the intensity of the nociceptive response related to RD. Pretreatment by either naloxone or bicuculline (a GABA(A) antagonist, 0.5 mg/kg i.p.) did not affect the antiallodynic effect of pregabalin. We conclude that pregabalin is a therapeutic candidate in the treatment of gut hypersensitivity not acting through GABA(A) and opiate receptors.