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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Aug 2020 - 28 Aug 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Aug 17


Spinal and peripheral mechanisms individually lead to the development of remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia.


Horii Y, Matsuda M, Takemura H, Ishikawa D, Sawa T, Amaya F
Neuroscience. 2020 Aug 17.
PMID: 32818602.


The present study was performed to determine neuronal loci and individual molecular mechanisms responsible for remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia. The effect of methylnaltrexone on remifentanil-induced behavioral hyperalgesia was assessed to distinguish contributions of the peripheral and/or central nervous system to remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia. Phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons after remifentanil infusion, and the effect of a p38MAPK inhibitor on remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia were analyzed to investigate involvement of p38MAPK in the peripheral mechanisms of remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia. Spinal levels of prodynorphin mRNA after remifentanil infusion, and the effect of the BK2 bradykinin receptor antagonist on remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia were investigated to assess potential spinal mechanisms. The effects of methylnaltrexone and BK2 antagonists on remifentanil-induced exacerbation of post-incisional hyperalgesia were also investigated using behavioral analysis. Remifentanil infusion induced hyperalgesia in the early (4 hours to 2 days) and late (8 to 14 days) post-infusion periods. Methylnaltrexone inhibited hyperalgesia only during the early post-infusion period. p38MAPK phosphorylation was observed in the DRG neuron, and the p38MAPK inhibitor inhibited hyperalgesia during the early post-infusion period. Prodynorphin expression increased in the spinal cord, and a BK2 antagonist inhibited hyperalgesia during the late post-infusion period. Remifentanil-induced exacerbation of incisional hyperalgesia was inhibited by methylnaltrexone and the BK2 antagonist. The present study demonstrated that remifentanil activates peripheral and spinal neurons to promote chronologically distinctive hyperalgesia. p38MAPK phosphorylation in the DRG neuron leads to peripherally-driven hyperalgesia during the early post-infusion period, while spinal dynorphin-bradykinin signaling promotes hyperalgesia during the late post-infusion period.