Spontaneous and evoked release of met-enkephalin-like material from the spinal cord of arthritic rats in vivo

Pain. 1988 Jan;32(1):107-114. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(88)90029-2.


Perfusion of the intrathecal space with artificial CSF was achieved in control and arthritic rats under halothane anaesthesia in order to collect the met-enkephalin-like material (MELM) released from the whole spinal cord. On the fourth week following the intradermal injection of Freund's adjuvant to induce arthritis, a marked reduction (-56%) in the spontaneous outflow of MELM was noted in arthritic rats. This effect did not involve changes in the degradation process of MELM, since it persisted when kelatorphan was added to the perfusing fluid in order to inhibit completely the peptidases acting on met-enkephalin. Raising the K+ concentration in the perfusing fluid from 2.4 to 40 mM, as well as moving the hind paws, produced a significant enhancement of MELM release which was (at least) as pronounced in arthritic as in control rats. These results suggest that the basal activity of spinal enkephalinergic neurones, but not that triggered by various stimuli, is reduced in arthritic rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / metabolism*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pain / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*


  • enkephalin-Met, like substances
  • Enkephalin, Methionine