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Exp Neurol. 2006 Sep;201(1):144-53. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

Involvement of 5-HT(2) serotonergic receptors of the nucleus raphe magnus and nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis/paragigantocellularis complex neural networks in the antinociceptive phenomenon that follows the post-ictal immobility syndrome.

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Laboratory of Neuroanatomy and Neuropsychobiology, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto of the University of São Paulo (USP), Av. dos Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirão Preto (SP) 14049-900, Brazil.


The post-ictal immobility syndrome is followed by a significant increase in the nociceptive thresholds in animals and men. In this interesting post-ictal behavioral response, endogenous opioid peptides-mediated mechanisms, as well as cholinergic-mediated antinociceptive processes, have been suggested. However, considering that many serotonergic descending pathways have been implicated in antinociceptive reactions, the aim of the present work is to investigate the involvement of 5-HT(2)-serotonergic receptor subfamily in the post-ictal antinociception. The analgesia was measured by the tail-flick test in seven or eight Wistar rats per group. Convulsions were followed by statistically significant increase in the tail-flick latencies (TFL), at least for 120 min of the post-ictal period. Male Wistar rats were submitted to stereotaxic surgery for introduction of a guide-cannula in the rhombencephalon, aiming either the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) or the gigantocellularis complex. In independent groups of animals, these nuclei were neurochemically lesioned with a unilateral microinjection of ibotenic acid (1.0 microg/0.2 microL). The neuronal damage of either the NRM or nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis/paragigantocellularis complex decreased the post-ictal analgesia. Also, in other independent groups, central administration of ritanserin (5.0 microg/0.2 microL) or physiological saline into each of the reticular formation nuclei studied caused a statistically significant decrease in the TFL of seizing animals, as compared to controls, in all post-ictal periods studied. These results indicate that serotonin input-connected neurons of the pontine and medullarly reticular nuclei may be involved in the post-ictal analgesia.

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