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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jun 2019 - 28 Jun 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Sep 05

Eur J Pharmacol


Metformin antinociceptive effect in models of nociceptive and neuropathic pain is partially mediated by activation of opioidergic mechanisms.


Augusto PSA, Braga AV, Rodrigues FF, Morais MI, Dutra MMGB, Batista CRA, Melo ISF, Costa SOAM, Goulart FA, Coelho MM, Machado RR
Eur J Pharmacol. 2019 Sep 05; 858:172497.
PMID: 31238066.


Metformin, an AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator, is an oral hypoglycemic drug widely used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. As AMPK plays a role in the nociceptive processing, investigating the effects induced by metformin in experimental models of pain is warranted. In the present study, we further evaluated the effects induced by metformin in models of nociceptive and neuropathic pain and investigated mechanisms that could mediate such effects. Metformin was administered per os (p.o.) in mice. Nociceptive response induced by heat (hot-plate) and mechanical allodynia induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) were used as pain models. Naltrexone (intraperitoneal) and glibenclamide (p.o.) were used to investigate mechanisms mediating metformin effects. A single administration of metformin (500 or 1000 mg/kg) inhibited the nociceptive response in the hot-plate model. Single and repeated administration of metformin (250, 500 or 1000 mg/kg) inhibited the mechanical allodynia induced by CCI. Metformin (250, 500 or 1000 mg/kg) did not affect the time mice spent in the rota-rod apparatus. The activity of metformin (1000 mg/kg) in both pain models was attenuated by naltrexone (10 mg/kg), but not by glibenclamide. Concluding, metformin exhibited activity in models of nociceptive and neuropathic pain. In the model of neuropathic pain, preventive and therapeutic effects were observed. Activation of opioidergic pathways partially mediates metformin antinociceptive activity. Altogether, the results indicate that metformin should be further investigated aiming its repositioning in the treatment of patients with different painful conditions.