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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 06

Metab Brain Dis


Aspirin attenuates morphine antinociceptive tolerance in rats with diabetic neuropathy by inhibiting apoptosis in the dorsal root ganglia.


Ozdemir E, Avcı O, Inan ZDS, Taskiran AS, Gunes H, Gursoy S


Morphine is a drug used in chronic pain such as diabetic neuropathy, but the development of tolerance to its antinociceptive effect is an important clinical problem. Aspirin is an analgesic and antiapoptotic drug used in combination with morphine as an adjuvant in diabetic neuropathy. Our aim in this study was to investigate the effects of aspirin on morphine-induced neuronal apoptosis and analgesic tolerance in rats with diabetic neuropathy. The antinociceptive effects of aspirin (50 mg/kg) and morphine (5 mg/kg) were evaluated by thermal pain tests. Streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally to induce diabetic neuropathy. To evaluate apoptosis, ELISA kits were used to measure caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 levels. Apoptotic cells were detected histologically by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) method. Study results indicate that prior administration of aspirin to diabetic rats significantly increased the antinociceptive efficacy of morphine compared to morphine alone. Thermal pain tests showed that aspirin significantly reduced morphine tolerance in rats with diabetic neuropathy. Biochemical analysis revealed that aspirin significantly decreased the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins, caspase-3 and Bax, while increasing the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 in DRG neurons. Semiquantitative scoring demonstrated that aspirin provided a significant reduction in apoptotic cell counts in diabetic rats. In conclusion, these data suggested that aspirin attenuated morphine antinociceptive tolerance through anti-apoptotic activity in diabetic rat DRG neurons.