Antinociception vs motor effects of intrathecal vasopressin as measured by four pain tests

C. L. Thurston, E. S. Culhane, S. N. Suberg, Earl Carstens, L. R. Watkins

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35 Scopus citations


The effects of intrathecal (i.t.) vasopressin (VP) on nociception were quantitatively tested in rats using 4 pain tests: tail flick, tail shock vocalization, hot plate, and formalin. In addition, motor effects of VP were examined qualitatively. I.t. VP produced a prolonged antinociception lasting at least 40 min on the tail flick (2.5 and 25 ng) and formalin (25 ng) tests, and a brief antinociception lasting less than 20 min on the tail shock (25 ng) and hot plate (25 ng) tests. Those rats not responding to the pain tests showed no signs of perceiving the pain stimulus, such as orientation to the stimulus or vocalization. In addition, i.t. VP produced scratching bouts (2.5 and 25 ng) and suppressed hindbody motor function (25 ng). The motor inhibitory effects of VP, although severe in some rats, were brief, lasting less than 15 min. In conclusion, i.t. VP produces antinociception in addition to its motor effects, and these properties appear to be due to separate mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 25 1988


  • Analgesia
  • Motor suppresion
  • Neuropeptide
  • Pain
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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