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Exp Neurol. 2009 May;217(1):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.01.003. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

5-HT1A/1B, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7 serotonergic receptors recruitment in tonic-clonic seizure-induced antinociception: role of dorsal raphe nucleus.

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  • 1Departamento de Farmacologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto da Universidade de São Paulo, Laboratório de Neuroanatomia & Neuropsicobiologia, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.


Pharmacological studies have been focused on the involvement of different neural pathways in the organization of antinociception that follows tonic-clonic seizures, including 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-, norepinephrine-, acetylcholine- and endogenous opioid peptide-mediated mechanisms, giving rise to more in-depth comprehension of this interesting post-ictal antinociceptive phenomenon. The present work investigated the involvement of 5-HT(1A/1B), 5-HT(6), and 5-HT(7) serotonergic receptors through peripheral pretreatment with methiothepin at doses of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 mg/kg in the organization of the post-ictal antinociception elicited by pharmacologically (with pentylenetetrazole at 64 mg/kg)-induced tonic-clonic seizures. Methiothepin at 1.0 mg/kg blocked the post-ictal antinociception recorded after the end of seizures, whereas doses of 2.0 and 3.0 mg/kg potentiated the post-ictal antinociception. The nociceptive thresholds were kept higher than those of the control group. However, when the same 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors antagonist was microinjected (at 1.0, 3.0 and 5.0 microg/0.2 microL) in the dorsal raphe nucleus, a mesencephalic structure rich in serotonergic neurons and 5-HT receptors, the post-ictal hypo-analgesia was consistently antagonized. The present findings suggest a dual effect of methiothepin, characterized by a disinhibitory effect on the post-ictal antinociception when peripherally administered (possibly due to an antagonism of pre-synaptic 5-HT(1A) serotonergic autoreceptors in the pain endogenous inhibitory system) and an inhibitory effect (possibly due to a DRN post-synaptic 5-HT(1B), 5-HT(6), and 5-HT(7) serotonergic receptors blockade) when centrally administered. The present data also suggest that serotonin-mediated mechanisms of the dorsal raphe nucleus exert a key-role in the modulation of the post-ictal antinociception.

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