[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Statins exert favorable effects on lipoprotein metabolism but may also possess anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we explored the effects of atorvastatin in a model of adjuvant-induced arthritis in rat. Oral treatment with atorvastatin (1-10 mg/kg) from days 10 to 15 after arthritis induction caused inhibition of the increase in paw volume. Maximal inhibition occurred at a dose of 10 mg/kg. At this dose, atorvastatin markedly ameliorated the histopathological findings of joints obtained from day 16 of arthritic animals. This was mirrored by an effective blockade of neutrophil influx, as assessed by the tissue myeloperoxidase levels. The concentrations of the cytokines interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha and the chemokines CCL5 and CCL2 were significantly decreased in arthritic rats treated with atorvastatin. In contrast, the levels of interleukin-10 were enhanced by the drug treatment. The drug also prevented the hypernociception observed in the inflamed joints. These data clearly illustrate the therapeutic potential of a statin-sensitive pathway in inflammatory arthritis.
European Journal of Pharmacology 07/2005; 516(3):282-9. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compared the intensity and frequency of arthritis in old (8-12 months, N = 12) and juvenile (2 months, N = 10) rats and determined the role played by adrenal glands in this disorder. Arthritis was induced by subcutaneous injection of Mycobacterium butyricum at the base of the tail of female Holtzman rats at day zero. Paw edema and hyperalgesia were monitored from day zero to day 21 after induction as signs of arthritis development. Some (N = 11) old animals were adrenalectomized bilaterally and treated with dexamethasone or celecoxib immediately following surgery. All bilaterally adrenalectomized old animals became susceptible to arthritis and the onset of disease was shortened from the 10th to the 5th day. Hyperalgesia and paw edema responses were less frequent in older animals (50 and 25% compared to control juvenile rats, respectively), although old responder animals showed responses of similar intensity to those of their juvenile counterparts: by the 14th day the data for hyperalgesia were juvenile = 0.8 +/- 0.07/old = 0.8 +/- 0.09, and for paw edema juvenile = 56.6 +/- 6.04/old = 32.24 +/- 12.7, reported as delta% increase in paw edema. Chronic treatment of adrenalectomized old animals with dexamethasone (0.01 or 0.1 mg/kg) but not celecoxib (3 mg/kg), once daily for 21 days by gavage, abolished the effects of adrenalectomy, in particular those related to the hyperalgesia response (old = 0.95 +/- 0.03/dexamethasone = 0 +/- 0; 14th day), thus suggesting a specific participation of circulating corticosteroids in the modulation of pain in old arthritic rats.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 02/2003; 36(1):77-83. · 1.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine if phenobarbital affects the nociception threshold. Systemic (1-20 mg/kg) phenobarbital administration dose dependently induced hyperalgesia in the tail-flick, hot-plate and formalin tests in rats and in the abdominal constriction test in mice. Formalin and abdominal constriction tests were the most sensitive procedures for the detection of hyperalgesia in response to phenobarbital compared with the tail-flick and hot-plate tests. The hyperalgesia induced by systemic phenobarbital was blocked by previous administration of 1 mg/kg ip picrotoxin or either 1-2 mg/kg sc or 10 ng icv bicuculline. Intracerebroventricular phenobarbital administration (5 microg) induced hyperalgesia in the tail-flick test. In contrast, intrathecal phenobarbital administration (5 microg) induced antinociception and blocked systemic-induced hyperalgesia in this test. We suggest that phenobarbital may mediate hyperalgesia through GABA-A receptors at supraspinal levels and antinociception through the same kind of receptors at spinal levels.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 04/2001; 34(3):397-405. · 1.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There has been much interest in strategies which modulate tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels and/or function in rheumatoid arthritis. The elevation of intracellular levels of cyclic AMP in leukocytes by phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors is accompanied by significant inhibition of the production of TNF-α. Nevertheless, these drugs may enhance the hyperalgesia induced by a range of inflammatory mediators, including TNF-α. In the present study, we examined the effects of the phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor rolipram on the local inflammatory infiltrate and hyperalgesia in a rat model of adjuvant-induced arthritis. Rolipram (3 mg/kg) was administered by oral gavage from day 10 to 14 after disease induction. Pretreatment with rolipram abrogated oedema formation and significantly inhibited hyperalgesia. Histopathological analysis revealed a marked inhibition of cellular influx as well as bone and cartilage destruction. Serum and local TNF-α levels were suppressed in treated animals whereas there were little changes in interleukin-1β levels. Although cyclic AMP elevating agents may affect nociceptor threshold to increase the hyperalgesic responses acutely, they also possess significant anti-inflammatory activity, which may hinder local mediator release and/or action. The anti-inflammatory effects of rolipram predominate during this chronic arthritis model in the rat.
European Journal of Pharmacology 08/2000; · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of benzodiazepines on the nociceptive threshold was studied in rats using the tail-flick and the formalin tests. Systemic injection of midazolam (10 mg/kg, i.p.) induced a significant decrease of the tail-flick latency and produced a long-lasting nociceptive effect in the formalin test, thus characterising a hyperalgesic state. The hyperalgesia induced by midazolam in the tail-flick test was blocked by flumazenil, a specific antagonist for benzodiazepine sites associated with GABA(A) receptors. Picrotoxin, a Cl- channel blocker, inhibited midazolam-induced hyperalgesia in both tests. Midazolam caused hyperalgesia when administered intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.; 25 microg) but not intrathecally (i.t.; 75 microg). I.c.v. but not i.t. (5 microg) injection of flumazenil suppressed the hyperalgesia induced by midazolam (10 mg/kg, i.p.). Combination of non-hyperalgesic doses of diazepam (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or ethanol (0.48 g/kg, oral) with midazolam (5 mg/kg, i.p.) also induced hyperalgesia. Our results demonstrate that midazolam and diazepam alone or in combination with ethanol can produce hyperalgesia by interacting with GABA(A) receptors at the supraspinal level in rats. The risk of hyperalgesia should be taken in account when these drugs are used in combination in humans.
European Journal of Pharmacology 05/1999; 370(1):9-15. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The involvement of GABA-A receptors in the control of nociception was studied using the tail-flick test in rats. Non-hypnotic doses of the barbiturates phenobarbital (5-50 mg/kg), pentobarbital (17-33 mg/kg), and thiopental (7.5-30 mg/kg), of the benzodiazepine midazolam (10 mg/kg) or of ethanol (0.4-1.6 g/kg) administered by the systemic route reduced the latency for the tail-flick response, thus inducing a 'hyperalgesic' state in the animals. In contrast, non-convulsant doses of the GABA-A antagonist picrotoxin (0.12-1.0 mg/kg) administered systemically induced an increase in the latency for the tail-flick response, therefore characterizing an 'antinociceptive' state. Previous picrotoxin (0.12 mg/kg) treatment abolished the hyperalgesic state induced by effective doses of the barbiturates, midazolam or ethanol. Since phenobarbital, midazolam and ethanol reproduced the described hyperalgesic effect of GABA-A-specific agonists (muscimol, THIP), which is specifically antagonized by the GABA-A antagonist picrotoxin, our results suggest that GABA-A receptors are tonically involved in the modulation of nociception in the rat central nervous system.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 03/1997; 30(2):251-6. · 1.03 Impact Factor