The α7 nicotinic ACh receptor agonist compound B and positive allosteric modulator PNU-120596 both alleviate inflammatory hyperalgesia and cytokine release in the rat

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G Munro, Rikke Rie Hansen, Hk Erichsen, Db Timmermann, Jk Christensen, Hh Hansen

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Agonists selective for the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor produce anti-hyperalgesic effects in rodent models of inflammatory pain, via direct actions on spinal pain circuits and possibly via attenuated release of peripheral pro-inflammatory mediators. Increasingly, allosteric modulation of ligand-gated receptors is recognized as a potential strategy to obtain desired efficacy in the absence of the putative adverse effects associated with agonist activation.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: We compared the anti-hyperalgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the α7 nACh receptor agonist compound B with the positive allosteric modulator (PAM) PNU-120596 and the standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), diclofenac, in rats with hind paw inflammation induced by either formalin, carrageenan or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA).

KEY RESULTS: When administered before carrageenan, both diclofenac (30 mg·kg(-1) ) and PNU-120596 (30 mg·kg(-1) ) significantly reduced mechanical hyperalgesia and weight-bearing deficits for up to 4 h. Compound B (30 mg·kg(-1) ) also attenuated both measures of pain-like behaviour, albeit less robustly. Whereas compound B and PNU-120596 attenuated the carrageenan-induced increase in levels of TNF-α and IL-6 within the hind paw oedema, diclofenac only attenuated IL-6 levels. Established mechanical hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan or CFA was also partially reversed by compound B and PNU-120596. However, diclofenac was considerably more efficacious. Formalin-induced nocifensive behaviours were only reversed by compound B, albeit at doses which disrupted motor performance.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: α7 nACh receptor PAMs could prove to be useful in the treatment of inflammatory pain conditions, which respond poorly to NSAIDs or in situations where NSAIDs are contra-indicated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)421-35
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

    Research areas

  • Animals, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Azabicyclo Compounds, Carrageenan, Cytokines, Diclofenac, Freund's Adjuvant, Gene Expression Regulation, Hyperalgesia, Inflammation, Isoxazoles, Male, Phenylurea Compounds, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Nicotinic, Thiophenes, alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, Journal Article

ID: 169754877