Role of dopaminergic system in oxytocin analgesia: The missing part in a puzzle

  • Yaşar Taştemur
  • Ahmet Şevki Taşkıran
  • Ahmet Altun
  • Ahmet Kemal Filiz
  • Kader Gülmez
  • Kaan Çimen
  • Ercan Özdemir
Keywords: Oxytocin, Tail flick, Hot plate, Dopaminergic, Analgesic, Antagonist, Agonist


Purpose: To investigate the analgesic effects of oxytocin (OT) and elucidate the role of dopaminergic system in its mechanisms.
Methods: In this study, 72 male (n=6 for each group) 230-250 gr Wistar Albino rats were used. Firstly, dose studies were performed with 100 μg/kg, 200 μg/kg and 400 μg/kg to determine the optimal analgesic effect of oxytocin. Optimal dose was found at 200 μg/kg, and then animals were divided into nine groups: Saline, D1 agonist (SKF 38393; 0.1 mg/kg), D1 antagonist (SCH-23390; 0.1 mg/kg), D1 agonist + oxytocin, D1 antagonist + oxytocin, D2 agonist (Cabergoline; 0,5 mg/kg), D2 antagonist (Sulpride; 10 mg/kg), D2 agonist + oxytocin and D2 antagonist + oxytocin. Serum physiologic saline was given to the saline group and other drugs were administered intraperitoneally at the indicated doses. Tail-flick and hot-plate tests were used to measure analgesic effects. Analgesic tests were measured in 30 min-intervals (at 30th, 60th, 90th, and 120th min) and recorded in seconds. To evaluate maximum antinociceptive effect (% MPE), the tail-flick and hot-plate latencies were converted to the antinociceptive effectiveness
Results: The results show that D1 antagonist SCH-23390 (0.1 mg/kg) and D2 agonist cabergoline (0.5 mg/kg) created strong analgesia while the D1 agonist SKF 38393 (0.1 mg/kg) and D2 antagonist sulpiride (10 mg/kg) did not have any analgesic effect. However, only D2 antagonist sulpiride blocked the analgesic effect produced by OT
Conclusion: OT may be one of the primary agents participating in spinal analgesia, and the dopaminergic system is one of the central mechanisms of action for this important molecule. The dopaminergic system may also be one of the targets for ‘descending’ analgesic system.

Keywords: Oxytocin, Tail flick, Hot plate, Dopaminergic, Analgesic, Antagonist, Agonist


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996