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Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Dec 15;745:190-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.10.038. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Antinociceptive effect of botulinum toxin type A on experimental abdominal pain.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Zagreb Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Croatian Brain Research Institute, University of Zagreb Medical School, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Electronic address:


Visceral pain, especially in the abdominal region, represents one of the most common types of pain. Its chronic form is usually very hard to treat by conventional analgesic agents and adjuvants. We investigated the antinociceptive effect of botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) in male Wistar rats in two models of visceral pain: peritonitis induced by intraperitoneal injection of 1% acetic acid and colitis induced by intracolonic instillation of 0.1% capsaicin. Pain was measured as the number of abdominal writhes. Additionally, referred mechanical sensitivity in the ventral abdominal area was evaluated by von Frey test and the extent of spinal c-Fos expression was immunohistochemically examined. BTX-A significantly reduced the number of abdominal writhes in both models of visceral pain after intrathecal application in a dose of 2 U/kg. In the experimental colitis model, BTX-A (2 U/kg) reduced both referred mechanical allodynia and c-Fos expression in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord (S2/S3 segments). In contrast to intrathecal administration, BTX-A (2 U/kg) administered into the cisterna magna had no effect on pain suggesting that the primary site of its action is a spinal cord.


Abdominal pain; Acetic acid; Botulinum toxin type A; Capsaicin; Rat; Visceral pain

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