Distinct Roles of Exogenous Opioid Agonists and Endogenous Opioid Peptides in the Peripheral Control of Neuropathy-Triggered Heat Pain

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 8;6:32799. doi: 10.1038/srep32799.

Abstract

Neuropathic pain often results from peripheral nerve damage, which can involve immune response. Local leukocyte-derived opioid peptides or exogenous opioid agonists inhibit neuropathy-induced mechanical hypersensitivity in animal models. Since neuropathic pain can also be augmented by heat, in this study we investigated the role of opioids in the modulation of neuropathy-evoked heat hypersensitivity. We used a chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve in wild-type and opioid peptide-knockout mice, and tested opioid effects in heat and mechanical hypersensitivity using Hargreaves and von Frey tests, respectively. We found that although perineural exogenous opioid agonists, including peptidergic ligands, were effective, the endogenous opioid peptides β-endorphin, Met-enkephalin and dynorphin A did not alleviate heat hypersensitivity. Specifically, corticotropin-releasing factor, an agent triggering opioid peptide secretion from leukocytes, applied perineurally did not attenuate heat hypersensitivity in wild-type mice. Exogenous opioids, also shown to release opioid peptides via activation of leukocyte opioid receptors, were equally analgesic in wild-type and opioid peptide-knockout mice, indicating that endogenous opioids do not contribute to exogenous opioid analgesia in heat hypersensitivity. Furthermore, exogenously applied opioid peptides were ineffective as well. Conversely, opioid peptides relieved mechanical hypersensitivity. Thus, both opioid type and sensory modality may determine the outcome of neuropathic pain treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dichloro-N-methyl-N-(2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-cyclohexyl)-benzeneacetamide, (trans)-Isomer / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology
  • Dynorphins / genetics
  • Dynorphins / metabolism
  • Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)- / pharmacology
  • Enkephalin, D-Penicillamine (2,5)- / pharmacology
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / genetics
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / metabolism
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy*
  • Neuralgia / etiology*
  • Neuralgia / genetics
  • Opioid Peptides / genetics
  • Opioid Peptides / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / metabolism
  • Receptors, Opioid / agonists
  • beta-Endorphin / genetics
  • beta-Endorphin / metabolism
  • beta-Endorphin / pharmacology

Substances

  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Opioid Peptides
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)-
  • Enkephalin, Methionine
  • beta-Endorphin
  • 3,4-Dichloro-N-methyl-N-(2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-cyclohexyl)-benzeneacetamide, (trans)-Isomer
  • Dynorphins
  • Enkephalin, D-Penicillamine (2,5)-
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone