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Eur J Pharmacol. 1988 Jul 7;151(2):259-65.

Flupirtine depresses nociceptive activity evoked in rat thalamus.

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  • 1Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar, F.R.G.


Flupirtine, a novel analgesic agent, was tested on nociceptive activity in neurones of the dorsomedial part of the ventral nucleus of the thalamus (VDM) and ascending axons of the spinal cord of rats under urethane anaesthesia. Activity was elicited by supramaximal stimulation of the sural nerve. Flupirtine injected i.v. dose dependently reduced nociceptive activity in the thalamus and ascending axons. The ED50 of flupirtine in depressing the thalamic response was 1.9 mg/kg, and the ED50 in depressing the C fibre-evoked response in ascending axons was 18 mg/kg. Naloxone reduced the depression of the nociceptive response evoked in the thalamus when applied before but not when applied after flupirtine. The results indicate that flupirtine produces analgesia by spinal inhibition of nociceptive impulse transmission from afferent nerve fibres to neurones sending their axons to the brain and, in addition, by supraspinal inhibition of nociceptive impulse transmission to the thalamus. Opioid mechanisms could be involved in these effects.

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