Author(s): Feng Y, Cui M, Willis WD
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Gabapentin has recently been used clinically as an antihyperalgesic agent to treat certain neuropathic pain states. The aim of this study is to test whether gabapentin is able to inhibit responses to peritoneal irritation-induced visceral pain and to examine the effect of gabapentin on spinal cord amino acid release. METHODS: The acetic acid-induced writhing assay was used in rats to determine the degree of antinociception. The rats received an intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid 40 min after intraperitoneal administration of vehicle or gabapentin (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg). Cerebrospinal fluid dialysate was collected by microdialysis from the spinal subarachnoid space in anesthetized rats. Acetic acid-induced release of amino acids into the dialysate, including glutamate, aspartate, serine, glutamine, and glycine, following intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid was evaluated by measurements of changes in the concentrations of these amino acids. The effects of pretreatment with saline or gabapentin (100 mg/kg intraperitoneal) on amino acid release were compared. RESULTS: Gabapentin reduced writhing responses in a dose-related fashion. Dialysate concentrations of glutamate, aspartate, and serine increased significantly following intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid, while glutamine and glycine concentrations were not increased significantly. When compared to saline-treated rats, animals pretreated with 100 mg/kg gabapentin showed suppression of the acetic acid-induced increases in glutamate, aspartate, and serine concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that gabapentin effectively inhibits acetic acid-induced nociception, and the antinociceptive effect of gabapentin correlates with the suppression of noxious-evoked release of excitatory amino acids in the spinal cord.
This article was published in Anesthesiology
and referenced in Chemical Sciences Journal