European journal of pharmacology

Amitriptyline enhances extracellular tissue levels of adenosine in the rat hindpaw and inhibits adenosine uptake.

PMID 16156010


Local administration of amitriptyline into the rat hindpaw produces peripheral antinociception; this is reduced by adenosine receptor antagonists and appears to involve endogenous adenosine. The present study used peripheral microdialysis: (a) to determine whether amitriptyline could enhance extracellular tissue levels of endogenous adenosine in the rat hindpaw and (b) to examine mechanisms by which such an increase could occur. Local injection of amitriptyline into the plantar hindpaw, at doses that produce peripheral antinociception (100-300 nmol), produced an increase in local extracellular levels of adenosine. When injected in combination with formalin, which also enhances such levels of adenosine, an additive increase was observed. This adenosine originated partly as nucleotide, as inhibition of ecto-5'-nucleotidase reduced the amount of adenosine detected in the probe following administration of amitriptyline. When administered in combination with exogenous adenosine, amitriptyline augmented recovery of adenosine in the probe. Pretreatment of rats with capsaicin augmented the ability of amitriptyline to increase adenosine levels detected in the dialysis probe; it also enhanced tissue recovery of exogenously administered adenosine. In uptake studies using cultured rat C6 glioma cells, amitriptyline inhibited adenosine uptake by an adenosine transporter (IC50 0.37 +/- 0.12 mM). In enzyme assays, amitriptyline had no effect on adenosine kinase or adenosine deaminase activity. These results demonstrate that amitriptyline: (a) enhances extracellular tissue levels of adenosine in the rat hindpaw following local administration in vivo and (b) inhibits adenosine uptake but has no effect on metabolism in vitro. Therefore, increased extracellular adenosine levels in vivo appear to result partially from extracellular conversion of nucleotide and partially from inhibition of uptake.

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Adenosine 5′-(α,β-methylene)diphosphate, ADP analog