Involvement of opioid receptors in the oxytocin-induced antinociception in the central nervous system of rats.Regul Pept. 2004 Aug 15; 120(1-3):53-8.RP
Recent studies showed that oxytocin and opioid peptides play important roles in pain modulation at different levels in the central nervous system. The present study was performed to explore whether opioid system is involved in the oxytocin-induced antinociception in the brain of rats. The results showed that: (1) intracerebroventricular injection of oxytocin induced dose-dependent increases in hindpaw withdrawal latencies (HWL) to noxious thermal and mechanical stimulation in rats. (2) The antinociceptive effect of oxytocin was attenuated dose-dependently by intracerebroventricular injection of naloxone, indicating an involvement of opioid system in the oxytocin-induced antinociception. (3) It is interesting that the antinociceptive effect of oxytocin was attenuated by subsequent intracerebroventricular injection of the mu-opioid antagonist beta-funaltrexamine (beta-FNA) and the kappa-opioid antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI), but not the delta-opioid antagonist naltrindole. The results indicate that oxytocin plays an antinociceptive role in the brain of rats; mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, not delta-receptors, are involved in the oxytocin-induced antinociception in the central nervous system of rats.