Two histamine H2 receptor antagonists, zolantidine and cimetidine, modulate nociception in cholestatic rats.J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Feb; 25(2):281-8.JP
Cholestasis is associated with analgesia. The histamine H(2) receptors control pain perception. The involvement of histamine H(2) receptors on modulation of nociception in a model of elevated endogenous opioid tone, cholestasis, was investigated in this study using zolantidine and cimetidine as two H(2) receptor antagonists and dimaprit as a selective H(2) receptor agonist. Cholestasis was induced by ligation of the main bile duct using two ligatures and transsection of the duct at the midpoint between them. A significant increase in tail-flick latencies was observed in cholestatic rats compared to non-cholestatic rats. Administration of zolantidine (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) and cimetidine (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg) in the cholestatic group significantly increased tail-flick latencies while dimaprit (10 and 20 mg/kg) injection in the cholestatic group decreased tail-flick latencies compared to the saline treated cholestatic group. Antinociception produced by injection of zolantidine and cimetidine in cholestatic rats was attenuated by co-administration of naloxone. Drug injection in non-cholestatic rats did not alter tail-flick latencies compared to the saline treated rats at any of the doses. At the doses used here, none of the drugs impaired motor coordination as revealed by the rota rod test. These data show that the histamine H(2) receptor system may be involved in the regulation of nociception during cholestasis. According to the hypothesis that increasing the nociception threshold in cholestasis may lead to a decrease in the perception of pruritus, the provision of the drugs that increase the threshold to nociception may be a novel approach to the treatment of cholestatic pruritus.