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There is evidence that local peripheral administration of morphine produces antinociception through the activation of the nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic GMP-K(+) channels pathway. Therefore we evaluated the possible participation of this pathway in the antinociceptive action produced by codeine in the rat 5% formalin test. Local peripheral injection of codeine produced a dose-dependent antinociception during the first and second phases of the test. Local pretreatment of the paws with the NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-L-nitro-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), the soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor methylene blue, the ATP-sensitive K(+) channel inhibitors glibenclamide and tolbutamide, the non-selective voltage-gated K(+) channel inhibitors 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and tetraethylammonium (TEA) and the opioid receptor blocker naloxone prevented codeine-induced antinociception in both phases of the test. L-NAME, methylene blue, K(+) channel blockers and naloxone by themselves did not modify formalin-induced nociceptive behavior. Our data suggest that codeine could activate the opioid receptor-NO-cyclic GMP-K(+) channels pathway in order to produce its peripheral antinociceptive effect in the formalin test.


Mario I Ortiz, Jhanet Castro-Olguín, Nayeli Peña-Samaniego, Gilberto Castañeda-Hernández. Probable activation of the opioid receptor-nitric oxide-cyclic GMP-K+ channels pathway by codeine. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 2005 Dec;82(4):695-703

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PMID: 16386786

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