Rationale: Carbon monoxide synthetized by inducible heme oxygenase (HO-1) exerts potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects during acute and neuropathic pain, but its role in the modulation of chronic inflammatory pain and the possible involvement of nitric oxide in this action remain unknown. Objectives and methods: The antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of a carbon monoxide releasing molecule, tricarbonyldichlororuthenium(II) dimer (CORM-2), daily administered from days 4 to 14 after complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) injection in wild-type (WT), neuronal (NOS1-KO), and inducible (NOS2-KO) nitric oxide synthases knockout mice, were evaluated using von Frey filaments and plantar tests. Effects of CORM-2 treatment on the expression of HO-1, NOS1, and NOS2 at 14 days after inflammation induction were assessed by Western blot. Results: Main inflammatory pain symptoms induced by CFA in WT, NOS1-KO, and NOS2-KO mice were significantly reduced in a time-dependent manner by CORM-2 treatment. In all genotypes, inflammation increased the dorsal root ganglia and paw expression of HO-1, but CORM-2 treatment only over-expressed this enzyme in the paw of all genotypes. The increased NOS1 expression induced by inflammation in WT mice was abolished by CORM-2 treatment, while there was no effect of the inflammation in neither CORM-2 treatment in the expression of NOS2 in WT and NOS1-KO mice. Conclusions: CORM-2 treatment inhibits inflammatory pain through enhancing HO-1 paw expression in all genotypes and reducing NOS1 over-expression in WT mice. An interaction between HO-1/carbon monoxide and NOS1/nitric oxide systems was also demonstrated. CORM-2 treatment may represent a new approach for management chronic inflammatory pain. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
- Carbon monoxide
- Inflammatory pain
- Nitric oxide
- Nitric oxide synthase
- Tricarbonyldichlororuthenium(II) dimer (CORM-2)