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Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Aug 30;497(3):279-84.

Effects of (-)-linalool in the acute hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan, L-glutamate and prostaglandin E2.

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Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università degli, Studi di Sassari, via Muroni 23/a, Sassari 07100, Italy.


A series of studies performed in our laboratory have shown that (-)-linalool, the natural occurring enantiomer in essential oils, possesses anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects in different animal models. The antinociceptive effect of (-)-linalool has been ascribed to the stimulation of the cholinergic, opioidergic and dopaminergic systems, to its local anesthetic activity and to the blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. In this study, we investigated the effect of systemic administration of (-)-linalool in the paw withdrawal test in rats, a model of thermal hyperalgesia induced by monolateral subplantar injection of carrageenan, L-glutamate or prostaglandin E(2). Carrageenan and L-glutamate induced a hyperalgesic effect on the injection side. In contrast, prostaglandin E(2) induced hyperalgesia in both the injection side and the contralateral side. Pretreatment with (-)-linalool (50-150 mg/kg) inhibited the development of acute hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan in the injected paw, with no effect on the contralateral paw. Furthermore, (-)-linalool at the highest dose used (200 mg/kg), reduced and reverted the decrease in paw withdrawal latencies induced by L-glutamate on the ipsilateral side, showing antihyperalgesic and antinociceptive effects. An antinociceptive effect was apparent also in the contralateral paw. Finally, (-)-linalool (200 mg/kg) increased paw withdrawal latency on the side contralateral to prostaglandin E(2) injection, but not on the side of the injection. The efficacy of (-)-linalool in decreasing the hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan, L-glutamate and prostaglandin E(2) suggests that this compound might be useful in pain conditions sustained by the development of neuronal sensitization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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