Atropine reverses the antinociception of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the tail-flick test of mice

G. Pinardi, F. Sierralta, H. F. Miranda

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62 Citations (Scopus)


The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) clonixin, diclofenac, piroxicam, ketoprofen, meloxicam, and paracetamol induced antinociception after intraperitoneal or intrathecal administration in mice submitted to an acute thermal algesiometric test without inflammation (tail-flick). Antinociception was evaluated by the increase in reaction time difference (Δ latency), between readings obtained before and after the administration of drugs. The antinociception induced by doses of NSAIDs producing between 20% and 30% of the maximum possible effect (MPE) 30 min after intraperitoneal and 15 min after intrathecal injections was compared with the antinociception obtained after pretreatment with 1 mg/kg atropine ip, 30 min before. Systemic atropine (1 mg/kg) significantly antagonized NSAID-induced antinociception in all cases, both after intraperitoneal and intrathecal administration. Cholinergic depletion by intracerebroventricular hemicholinium-3 (HC-3, 5 μg) 5 h before prevented the antinociceptive effect of all NSAIDs. These observations suggest that intrinsic muscarinic cholinergic facilitatory pathways represent an important modulating system in pain perception in this animal model of acute thermal pain. The results of the present work support the increasingly accepted notion that NSAIDs are effective analgesics even when inflammation is not present, acting by mechanisms that involve actions on spinal and supraspinal nociceptive transmission. It is suggested that, similar to morphine and clonidine, the active mechanism of NSAIDs may involve the release of acetylcholine (ACh) in the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • Antinociception
  • Atropine
  • Tail-flick test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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