Background: The analgesic properties and mechanisms of loperamide hydrochloride, a peripherally acting opioid receptor agonist, in neuropathic pain warrant further investigation. Methods: We examined the effects of systemic or local administration of loperamide on heat and mechanical hyperalgesia in rats after an L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL). Results: (1) Systemic loperamide (0.3-10 mg/kg, subcutaneous in the back) dose dependently reversed heat hyperalgesia in SNL rats, but did not produce thermal analgesia. Systemic loperamide (3 mg/kg) did not induce thermal antinociception in naïve rats; (2) systemic loperamide-induced anti-heat hyperalgesia was blocked by pretreatment with intraperitoneal naloxone methiodide (5 mg/kg), but not by intraperitoneal naltrindole (5 mg/kg) or intrathecal naltrexone (20 μg/10 μL); (3) local administration of loperamide (150 μg), but not vehicle, into plantar or dorsal hind paw tissue induced thermal analgesia in SNL rats and thermal antinociception in naïve rats; (4) the analgesic effect of intraplantar loperamide (150 μg/15 μL) in SNL rats at 45 min, but not 10 min, post-injection was blocked by pretreatment with an intraplantar injection of naltrexone (75 μg/10 μL); (5) systemic (3.0 mg/kg) and local (150 μg) loperamide reduced the exaggerated duration of hind paw elevation to noxious pinprick stimuli in SNL rats. Intraplantar injection of loperamide also decreased the frequency of pinprick-evoked response in naïve rats. Conclusions: These findings suggest that both systemic and local administration of loperamide induce an opioid receptor-dependent inhibition of heat and mechanical hyperalgesia in nerve-injured rats, but that local paw administration of loperamide also induces thermal and mechanical antinociception.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine