Intrathecal (IT) administration of vasopressin produces antinociception, scratching behavior, and motor suppression. The present experiments characterized these effects with regards to the following: 1) VP receptor specificity, 2) possible involvement of endogenous opiates, 3) possible involvement of seizure activity, and 4) whether the antinociception is due to direct actions of VP at the spinal cord. These studies showed that IT administration of a V1-specific vasopressin antagonist completely blocked the antinociception, scratching behavior, and motor suppression produced by 25 ng IT vasopressin. Furthermore, IT administration of the vasopressin metabolite, [pGlu4,Cyt6]AVP(4-9), produced none of the effects produced by vasopressin. Systemic administration of the opiate antagonists naloxone (1 mg/kg IP) and naltrexone (10 mg/kg IP) had no significant effect on the antinociception produced by IT vasopressin, whereas naltrexone potentiated the scratching behavior. Neither the IT vasopressin-induced antinociception nor scratching behavior was affected by pretreatment with the anticonvulsant sodium valproate. In addition, IT vasopressin inhibited the tail flick reflex in rats with transected spinal cords, demonstrating direct spinal effects of vasopressin. In conclusion, IT administration of vasopressin produces antinociception, scratching behavior, and motor suppression via activation of VP-specific receptors in the spinal cord.
- Spinal cord
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience