Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 290 (1), 403-12

Moxonidine, a Selective alpha2-adrenergic and Imidazoline Receptor Agonist, Produces Spinal Antinociception in Mice

  • PMID: 10381806

Moxonidine, a Selective alpha2-adrenergic and Imidazoline Receptor Agonist, Produces Spinal Antinociception in Mice

C A Fairbanks et al. J Pharmacol Exp Ther.


alpha2-Adrenergic receptor (AR)-selective compounds produce antihypertensive and antinociceptive effects. Moxonidine alleviates hypertension in multiple species, including humans. This study demonstrates that intrathecally administered moxonidine produces antinociception in mice. Antinociception was detected via the (52.5 degrees C) tail-flick and Substance P (SP) nociceptive tests. Moxonidine was intrathecally administered to ICR, mixed C57BL/6 x 129/Sv [wild type (WT)], or C57BL/6 x 129/Sv mice with dysfunctional alpha2aARs (D79N-alpha2a). The alpha2AR-selective antagonist SK&F 86466 and the mixed I1/alpha2AR-selective antagonist efaroxan were tested for inhibition of moxonidine-induced antinociception. Moxonidine prolonged tail-flick latencies in ICR (ED50 = 0.5 nmol; 0. 3-0.7), WT (0.17 nmol; 0.09-0.32), and D79N-alpha2a (0.32 nmol; 0. 074-1.6) mice. Moxonidine inhibited SP-elicited behavior in ICR (0. 04 nmol; 0.03-0.07), WT (0.4 nmol; 0.3-0.5), and D79N-alpha2a (1.1 nmol; 0.7-1.7) mice. Clonidine produced antinociception in WT but not D79N-alpha2a mice. SK&F 86466 and efaroxan both antagonized moxonidine-induced inhibition of SP-elicited behavior in all mouse lines. SK&F 86466 antagonism of moxonidine-induced antinociception implicates the participation of alpha2ARs. The comparable moxonidine potency between D79N-alpha2a and WT mice suggests that receptors other than alpha2a mediate moxonidine-induced antinociception. Conversely, absence of clonidine efficacy in D79N-alpha2a mice implies that alpha2aAR activation enables clonidine-induced antinociception. When clinically administered, moxonidine induces fewer side effects relative to clonidine; moxonidine-induced antinociception appears to involve a different alpha2AR subtype than clonidine-induced antinociception. Therefore, moxonidine may prove to be an effective treatment for pain with an improved side effect profile.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 17 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms