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. 1992 Sep;50(3):345-54.
doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(92)90040-i.

Alterations in Neuronal Excitability and the Potency of Spinal Mu, Delta and Kappa Opioids After Carrageenan-Induced Inflammation

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Alterations in Neuronal Excitability and the Potency of Spinal Mu, Delta and Kappa Opioids After Carrageenan-Induced Inflammation

L C Stanfa et al. Pain. .

Abstract

These electrophysiological results show that the development of inflammation following peripheral injection of carrageenan into the paw is accompanied by alterations in the magnitude of the C-fibre evoked response of multireceptive dorsal horn neurones. The evoked response of the dorsal horn cells was found to either increase or decrease in the 3 h following the carrageenan injection, and the direction of this change was related to the degree of wind-up exhibited by the cell. Regardless of whether a cell was facilitated or inhibited by carrageenan, mu, delta and kappa opioids applied topically onto the spinal cord (equivalent to an intrathecal injection) exhibited increased antinociceptive potency. This increased effectiveness was especially marked for the mu opioid, morphine, which showed a 30-fold increase in potency. Interestingly the facilitations seen with the lowest doses of the mu and kappa opioids in this model in normal animals were absent after carrageenan. In addition, a very low dose of spinal naloxone caused a small but significant reduction in the C-fibre evoked responses. These results demonstrate that following peripheral inflammation, functional changes develop in both spinal transmission and modulatory systems. Alterations in the antinociceptive potency of opioid agonists occurs, with the mu agonist, morphine, showing the greatest change.

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