The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of somatostatin administration on experimentally induced inflammation in rats. Inflammation was induced by the intraplantar injection of carrageenan (50 microL) into the hind paw of the rat. Animals were treated intraplantarly with somatostatin in a volume of 50 microL at different doses (2.5, 25, and 250 ng, 10 microg). The inflammatory response was studied 120, 180, and 240 min after drug administration. The antinociceptive effect of somatostatin was determined by using the Randall and Selitto test and by local production of beta-endorphin from lymphocytes obtained from popliteal lymph nodes. Data show that small doses of somatostatin were the most effective in reducing hyperalgesia. Moreover, our results show that somatostatin treatment significantly increased beta-endorphin in lymphocytes from popliteal lymph nodes. The secretion of opioid peptides, which enhance analgesia, could be stimulated by locally administered somatostatin.
Implications: Acute pain because of intraplantar inflammation induced in rats by carrageenan injection was significantly reduced by small-dose, local administration of somatostatin, which possibly favors beta-endorphin release as a mechanism. These results may have implications regarding treatment of pain conditions associated with an inflammatory response.