Brain research

Involvement of NMDA receptor in nociceptive effects elicited by intrathecal [Tyr6] gamma2-MSH(6-12), and the interaction with nociceptin/orphanin FQ in pain modulation in mice.

PMID 19332041


The mas-related genes (Mrgs, also known as sensory neuron-specific receptors, SNSRs) are specifically expressed in small diameter sensory neurons in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia, suggesting an important role of the receptors in pain transmission. The present study aimed to investigate the underlying mechanism of the nociceptive effects after activation of MrgC, and the interaction between MrgC and N/OFQ-NOP receptor system in modulation of nociception in mice. Intrathecal (i.t.) administration of [Tyr(6)] gamma2-MSH(6-12), the most potent agonist for MrgC receptor, produced a significant hyperalgesic response as assayed by tail withdrawal test and a series of characteristic nociceptive responses, including biting, licking and scratching, in a dose-dependent manner (0.01-10 pmol and 0.01-10 nmol, respectively) in mice. These pronociceptive effects induced by [Tyr(6)] gamma2-MSH(6-12) were inhibited dose-dependently by co-injection of competitive NMDA receptor antagonist D-APV, non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, and nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor L-NAME. However, the tachykinin NK(1) receptor antagonist L-703,606, and tachykinin NK(2) receptor antagonist MEN-10,376, had no influence on pronociceptive effects elicited by [Tyr(6)] gamma2-MSH(6-12). In other groups, [Tyr(6)] gamma2-MSH(6-12)-induced nociceptive responses were bidirectionally regulated by the co-injection of N/OFQ. N/OFQ inhibited nociceptive responses at high doses (0.01-1 nmol), but potentiated the behaviors at low doses (1 fmol-3 pmol). Furthermore, both hyperalgesia and nociceptive responses were enhanced after the co-administration with NOP receptor antagonist [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)-NH(2). These results suggest that intrathecal [Tyr(6)] gamma2-MSH(6-12)-induced pronociceptive effects may be mediated through NMDA receptor-NO system in the spinal cord, and demonstrate the interaction between MrgC and N/OFQ-NOP receptor system in pain transmission.

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MEN-10,376, ≥95% (HPLC), solid