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Brain Res. 2004 Aug 27;1018(2):257-64.

Effect of lambda-carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain on brain uptake of codeine and antinociception.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, 1501 North Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.


This study investigated the potential clinical implications of lambda-carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain on brain uptake of a commonly used analgesic, codeine, in relation to the fundamental properties of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) correlated to its antinociceptive profile over a 168-h time course. BBB uptake of [14C]sucrose (a membrane impermeant marker) and [3H]codeine were investigated using an in situ brain perfusion model in the rat. Results demonstrated a significantly increased brain uptake of [14C]sucrose at 1, 3, 6 and 48 h (139+/-9%, 166+/-19%, 138+/-13% and 146+/-7% compared with control, respectively) and [3H]codeine at 3 and 48 h (179+/-6% and 179+/-12% compared with control, respectively). Capillary depletion analyses ensured that increased radioisotope associated with the brain was due to increased uptake rather than trapping in the cerebral vasculature. Antinociception studies using a radiant-heat tail flick analgesia method demonstrated that lambda-carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain enhanced the in vivo antinociceptive profile of i.p.-administered codeine (7 mg/kg) at 3 and 48 h (144+/-11% and 155+/-9% compared with control, respectively). This study demonstrated that brain uptake and antinociception of codeine are increased during lambda-carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain, suggesting that the presence of inflammatory pain may be an important consideration in therapeutic drug dosing, potential adverse effects and/or neurotoxicity.

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