Involvement of central and peripheral cannabinoid receptors on antinociceptive effect of tetrahydrocannabinol in muscle pain.Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Dec 15; 745:69-75.EJ
Cannabinoid (CB) receptors have emerged as an attractive therapeutic target for pain management in recent years and the interest in the use of cannabinoids is gradually increasing, particularly in patients where conventional treatments fail. Muscle pain is a major clinical problem and new pharmacological approaches are being studied. Recently, we have demonstrated that cannabinoid synthetic agonists are useful to reduce muscular pain in two animal models, where the local administration is effective. Now, we want to know if tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid natural derivative with therapeutic use in humans, is also effective in reducing acute muscle pain. The antinociceptive effect of THC by systemic (i.p.) and local (i.m.) administration was tested in two animal models of acute muscle pain, rat masseter and gastrocnemius, induced by hypertonic saline (HS) injection. The drugs used were the non-selective agonist THC and two selective cannabinoid antagonists, AM251 (CB1) and AM630 (CB2). THC, i.p. and i.m. administered, reduced the nociceptive behaviours induced by HS in both muscular pain models. The antinociceptive effect induced by the systemic administration of THC was mediated by CB1 receptors in the masseter muscle whereas in gastrocnemius both CB1 and CB2 receptors participated. When THC was administered locally, only CB2 receptors were involved in the antinociceptive effect in both muscles. This study suggests that THC could be a future pharmacological option in the treatment of muscle pain. The local administration of THC could be an interesting option to treat this type of pain avoiding the central adverse effects.