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American Society for Action on Pain

Author: Antonijevic-I. Mousa-S-A. Schafer-M. Stein-C.

Title: Perineurial defect and peripheral opioid analgesia in inflammation.

Source: J-Neurosci. 1995 Jan. 15(1 Pt 1). P 165-72.


Abstract: Opioid receptors have been demonstrated on sensory nerves in both inflamed and normal subcutaneous tissue but locally applied opioid agonists produce analgesia in inflamed tissue only. Inflammation confers a disruption of the perineurial barrier that can also be induced deliberately by hyperosmolar solutions. The present study examines at which stage of Freund's adjuvant-induced inflammation peripheral opioid analgesic effects become manifest and whether a perineurial defect contributes to the appearance of such effects. To this end we have monitored the temporal evolution of inflammatory signs (swelling, temperature, hyperalgesia) and of peripheral antinociceptive effects (by the paw pressure test) of mu-, delta-, and kappa-selective opioids. Using horseradish peroxidase histochemistry, the perineurial barrier was assessed in normal and inflamed tissue and following its artificial disruption by hyperosmolar saline and mannitol in vivo. Finally, we sought to elicit analgesia in normal tissue by the concomitant application of mannitol and receptor-selective opioids or by an extremely lipophilic opioid agonist (fentanyl). We found that peripheral opioid antinociception and perineurial leakage occur simultaneously at a very early stage (within 12 hr) of the inflammatory reaction and that both can be mimicked by the administration of hyperosmolar solutions in normal tissue. Fentanyl produced peripheral antinociception in noninflamed tissue that was potentiated by mannitol or inflammation. Our findings demonstrate that the perineurium is a crucial determinant for peripheral opioid analgesia and that the efficacy of locally applied hydrophilic or lipophilic neuromodulatory compounds can be improved dramatically by the concomitant modulation of perineurial permeability.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)