Inhibitory action of endomorphin-1 on sensory neuropeptide release and neurogenic inflammation in rats and mice

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Substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) released from capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves induce local neurogenic inflammation in the innervated area. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of an endogenous opioid peptide, endomorphin-1, on sensory neuropeptide release in vitro and acute neurogenic and non-neurogenic inflammatory reactions in vivo. Electrical field stimulation (EFS; 40 V, 0.1 ms, 10 Hz, 120 s; 1200 impulses) was performed to evoke SP and CGRP release from peptidergic afferents of the isolated rat tracheae which was determined from the incubation medium with radioimmunoassay. Neurogenic inflammation in the skin of the acutely denervated rat hind paw was induced by topical application of 1% mustard oil and detected by Evans Blue leakage. Mustard oil-induced ear swelling of the mouse was determined with a micrometer during 3 h and myeloperoxidase activity as an indicator of granulocyte accumulation was measured with spectrophotometry at 6 h. EFS evoked about a twofold elevation in the release of both pro-inflammatory sensory neuropeptides. Endomorphin-1 (5 nM-2 μM) diminished the release of SP and CGRP in a concentration-dependent manner, the EC50 values were 39.45 nM and 10.84 nM, respectively. The maximal inhibitory action was about 80% in both cases. Administration of endomorphin-1 (1-100 μg/kg i.p.) dose-dependently inhibited mustard oil-evoked neurogenic plasma protein extravasation in the rat skin as determined by μg Evans Blue per g wet tissue. Repeated i.p. injections of the 10 μg/kg dose three times per day for 10 days did not induce desensitization in this model. Neurogenic swelling of the mouse ear was also dose-dependently diminished by 1-100 μg/kg i.p. endomorphin-1, but non-neurogenic neutrophil accumulation was not influenced. These results suggest that endomorphin-1 is able to inhibit the outflow of pro-inflammatory sensory neuropeptides. Based on this mechanism of action it is also able to effectively diminish neurogenic inflammatory responses in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2008


  • calcitonin gene-related peptide
  • capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves
  • mustard oil
  • myeloperoxidase activity
  • plasma protein extravasation
  • substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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