Effects of intrathecal administration of neuropeptides on a spinal nociceptive reflex in the rat: VIP, galanin, CGRP, TRH, somatostatin and angiotensin II
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The present study examines the effects of intrathecal administration of selected peptides on nociceptive responses in the rat. Each peptide was delivered via a chronically implanted catheter to the L5 vertebral level. In the tail flick test, VIP (0.65-6.5 nmoles) produced a dose-dependent decrease in reaction time (RT) from 1 to 6-16 min after injection; 6.5 nmoles decreased RT to 37% of control value at 1 min after injection. Galanin (0.65-6.5 nmoles) produced a dose-dependent increase in reaction time at 1 and 6 min; at high doses, many of the rats failed to flick the tail. CGRP (6.5 nmoles) produced a small, transient decrease in RT to 73% of control values at 1 min; 3.25 nmoles were without effect. CSF and 6.5 nmoles of somatostatin, TRH and angiotensin II were without effect. At high doses of galanin and CGRP, rats vocalized to innocuous touch of the tail, as reported for substance P. Von Frey hairs were thus applied to the tail after 6.5 nmoles of VIP, galanin, CGRP or substance P. Vocalization in response to a previously innocuous pressure stimulus was observed at 30 s after injection in all rats given galanin and some rats given CGRP or substance P; the effect lasted 4-8 min. VIP and CSF had no effect. These results suggest that VIP, galanin, CGRP and substance P may act as excitatory agents in nociceptive pathways and that specific peptides may function in the different types of pain modalities; VIP in thermal, galanin in mechanical and substance P and CGRP in both.
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