Endomorphin-1 is a novel endogenous mu-opioid peptide. In this study, we examined the effects of 2 Hz electroacupuncture in the rat tail flick test and the formalin test (a persistent noxious model). Moreover, we investigated if the electroacupuncture potentiated the effect of intrathecal endomorphin- 1. The results demonstrated that electroacupuncture alone produced a significant antinociception in the tail flick test, but not in the formalin test, and that intrathecal endomorphin-1 dose-dependently suppressed the biphasic nociceptive behavior in the formalin test. Electroacupuncture enhanced the antinociceptive effect of intrathecal endomorphin-1 in the formalin test, resulting in a significant leftward shift in the dose-response curves for intrathecal endomorphin-1 antinociception. The enhanced effect was antagonized by intraperitoneal naltrexone. The study suggests that electroacupuncture may potentiate the intrathecal endomorphin-1 antinociception partially mediated by opioid receptors. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Formalin test
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