The selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor 7-nitroindazole has acute analgesic but not cumulative effects in a rat model of peripheral neuropathy
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Chronic neuropathic pain that may arise from various nerve injuries or insults remains notoriously difficult to manage. The neuronal isoform of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has been shown to be involved in the spinal transmission of nociception in animal models of chronic pain. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of single dose and repeated administration of a selective nNOS inhibitor. Rats were unilaterally implanted with a 2-mm polyethylene cuff around the sciatic nerve. Paw withdrawal thresholds were measured using von Frey filament stimulation. Rats were given 10, 20, or 30 mg/kg of 7-nitroindazole (7-NI), or vehicle, on days 2, 5, and 7 after model induction, respectively. Paw withdrawal thresholds were measured before and at 30 and 60 min after injection. 7-NI significantly increased paw withdrawal thresholds at 60 min at the 20 and 30 mg/kg dosages. In the second part of this study, rats were given 20 mg/kg 7-NI daily for five days starting immediately after cuff implantation (days 0 to 4), and the cuff was removed on day 4. Withdrawal thresholds were measured intermittently over a 24-day observation period. No differences in withdrawal thresholds were observed between drug and vehicle-treated rats. Therefore, early and repeated administration of 7-NI did not affect the development or progression of the model. In conclusion, inhibition of nNOS had an analgesic but not a pre-emptive effect in this model of peripheral neuropathic pain.
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