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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Nov 2019 - 15 Nov 2019

Animal Studies

2020 Jan 15

Brain Res


Antinociceptive effects of treadmill exercise in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease: the role of cannabinoid and opioid receptors.


Binda KH, Real CC, Ferreira AFF, Britto LRG, Chacur M
Brain Res. 2020 Jan 15; 1727:146521.
PMID: 31697924.


In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinson's disease (PD) presents high prevalence of painful symptoms responsible for worsening quality of life of PD patients. Physical exercise can improve such painful symptoms. This study evaluated the effects of exercise on nociceptive threshold using an unilateral rat model of PD, as well as the role played by cannabinoid and opioid receptors in areas responsible for pain pathways. For PD induction, Wistar rats were injected with 6-OHDA. 15 days after, rats either remained sedentary or were forced to exercise three times a week for 40 minutes. Motor and nociceptive behaviors were evaluated through cylinder and mechanical hyperalgesia tests, respectively. The animals were euthanized for analysis of cannabinoid, cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2), and μ-opioid receptor (MOR) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), periaqueductal gray matter (PAG), and thalamus areas by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting. Our data revealed a decrease in the nociceptive threshold in both forepaws after surgery; in contrast, there was improvement in painful symptoms after the exercise protocol. For cannabinoid system there were an increase in CB2 expression in the ACC and PAG, and in CB1 levels in the PAG. And for opioid system there was an increase of MOR expression in the thalamus. Thus, modulation of those receptors by physical exercise can be an important non-pharmacological intervention to reduce painful symptoms in a rat model of PD, thus contributing to knowledge and promotion of better treatment aimed at improving the quality of life of PD patients.