Several works reveal that nitric oxide could enhance the peripheral antinociception induced by opioids during acute inflammation. Nonetheless, the role of nitric oxide in the local antinociceptive effects of δ-opioid receptor (DOR) agonists during chronic peripheral inflammation is not known. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether nitric oxide would enhance the local antinociceptive effects of a DOR agonist during chronic inflammatory pain in mice. Chronic inflammatory pain was induced by the subplantar administration of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA; 30μl) and thermal hyperalgesia assessed by plantar test. In C57BL/6J mice, we evaluated the local antinociceptive effects of a DOR agonist, [D-Pen2,5]-enkephalin (DPDPE) and a nitric oxide donor, DETA NONOate DETA/NO 2,2′ -(hydroxynitrosohydrazino) Bis-Ethanamine (NOC-18) alone or combined (DPDPE plus NOC-18) at 1, 4, 7, and 10 days after CFA injection. The reversibility of the peripheral antinociceptive effects of DPDPE, alone or combined with NOC-18, was assessed with the local administration of selective (naltrindole) and nonselective (naloxone methiodide) DOR antagonists. The local administration of DPDPE or NOC-18 alone dose-dependently inhibited the thermal hyperalgesia induced by peripheral inflammation. Moreover, the co-administration of NOC-18 with DPDPE significantly increased the antinociceptive effects produced by DPDPE from 1 to 10 days of CFAinduced inflammatory pain (P<0.05). These effects were completely blocked by naltrindole and naloxone methiodide. Our results demonstrate that nitric oxide might enhance the local antinociceptive effects of a DOR agonist during chronic inflammatory pain by interaction with peripheral DOR, representing a useful strategy for an efficient antinociceptive treatment of peripheral inflammatory pain.
- Nitric oxide
- Opioid receptors