Original Article

L-type calcium channel blockers enhance 5-HTP-induced antinociception in mice

Authors: Jian-hui LIANG, Jun-xu LI, Xu-hua WANG, Bi CHEN, Ying LU, Pan ZHANG, Rong HAN, Xiang-feng YE


To investigate the involvement of L-type Ca(2+) channels in antinociceptive action induced by the 5-HT precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).
Female Kunming mice were treated with either 5-HTP (20-80 mg/kg, ip) alone, or the combination of 5-HTP and fluoxetine (2-8 mg/kg, ip), pargyline (15-60 mg/kg, ip), nimodipine (2.5-10 mg/kg, ip), nifedipine (2.5-10 mg/kg, ip), verapamil (2.5-10 mg/kg, ip), CaCl(2) (5-20 mmol/L, icv), or EGTA (0.5-3 mmol/L, icv) prior to the hot-plate test (55 degree, hind-paw licking latency). In addition, locomotor activity in mice treated with 5-HTP alone was measured using an ambulometer with five activity boxes.
Ip injection of 5-HTP alone had no influence on the spontaneous locomotor activity, whereas dose-dependently increased the latency to licking hind-paw in the hot-plate test in mice. The inhibitory effects of 5-HTP on nociceptive response were significantly enhanced by fluoxetine in the mouse hot-plate test. At a sub-effective dose, pargyline could cause a leftward shift in the dose-response curve of 5-HTP-induced antinociception. Co-administration with 5-HTP and nimodipine, nifedipine, or verapamil obviously potentiated the antinociceptive effects elicited by 5-HTP. Interestingly, 5-HTP-induced antinociception was antagonized by CaCl(2) and enhanced by EGTA injected icv in the mouse hot-plate test.
These findings suggest that systemic administration of 5-HTP may yield the antinociceptive effects, which are related to Ca(2+) influx from extracellular fluid through L-type Ca(2+) channels.

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