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Amitriptyline Suppresses Neuroinflammation-dependent Interleukin-10-p38 Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase-Heme Oxygenase-1 Signaling Pathway in Chronic Morphine-infused Rats

Nociception Signal Transduction Laboratory, Department of Anesthesiology, Tri-Service General Hospital and the National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 6.17). 06/2009; 110(6):1379-89. DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31819fccd5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study explores the underlying mechanism of the antiinflammatory effect of amitriptyline in chronic morphine-infused rats.
Male Wistar rats were implanted with two intrathecal catheters. One catheter was for the continuous infusion of saline, amitriptyline (15 microg/h), morphine (15 microg/h), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor SB203580 (0.5 microg/h), morphine plus amitriptyline, or morphine plus amitriptyline plus SB203580 for 5 days. The other catheter was used for daily intrathecal injection of anti-interleukin-10 (IL-10) antibody or heme oxygenase-1 inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin for 5 days.
Amitriptyline/morphine coinfusion upregulated IL-10 protein expression in microglia; this was not observed in morphine-infused rats. Anti-IL-10 antibody effectively neutralized the amitriptyline-induced IL-10 expression in chronic morphine-infused rats. In addition, coinfusion of amitriptyline restored the antinociceptive effect of morphine (a 4.8-fold right-shift of the morphine dose-response curve compared to a 77.8-fold right-shift in its absence), and the injection of anti-IL-10 antibody or coinfusion of SB203580 partially reversed the effect of amitriptyline on the antinociceptive effect of morphine in morphine-infused rats (a 17.9-fold and 15.1-fold right-shift in morphine dose-response curves). Anti-IL-10 antibody and SB203580 significantly inhibited the amitriptyline-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and heme oxygenase-1 expression and the associated antiinflammatory effect of amitriptyline. Daily injection of zinc protoporphyrin also demonstrated that it reverses the effect of amitriptyline in morphine's antinociception and antiinflammation in chronic morphine-infused rats.
These results suggest that the antiinflammatory effect of amitriptyline on morphine tolerance, probably acting by increasing IL-10 expression, is mediated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase heme oxygenase-1 signal transduction cascade.

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