Brain Res. 1997 Jan; 745(1-2): 158-64.
Rats with decreased brain cholecystokinin levels show increased responsiveness to peripheral electrical stimulation-induced analgesia.
Neuroscience Research Center, Beijing Medical University, People's Republic of China.
Using the P77PMC strain of rat, which is genetically prone to audiogenic seizures, and also has decreased levels of cholecystokinin (CCK), we examined the analgesic response to peripheral electrical stimulation, which is, in part, opiate-mediated. A number of studies have suggested that CCK may function as an antagonist to endogenous opiate effects. Therefore, we hypothesized that the P77PMC animals would show an enhanced analgesic response based on their decreased CCK levels producing a diminished endogenous opiate antagonism. We found that the analgesic effect on tail flick latency produced by 100 Hz peripheral electrical stimulation was more potent and longer lasting in P77PMC rats than in control rats. Moreover, the potency of the stimulation-produced analgesia correlated with the vulnerability to audiogenic seizures in these rats. We were able to block the peripheral electrical stimulation-induced analgesia (PSIA) using a cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) administered parenterally. Radioimmunoassay showed that the content of CCK-8 in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and periaqueductal gray was much lower in P77PMC rat than in controls. These results suggest that low CCK-8 content in the central nervous system of the P77PMC rats may be related to the high analgesic response to peripheral electrical stimulation, and further support the notion that CCK may be endogenous opiate antagonist.