The Effect of Tramadol on the Rat Sciatic Nerve Conduction: A Numerical Analysis and Conduction Velocity Distribution Study

Dalkilic N., TUNCER S., Bariskaner H., Kiziltanc E.

YAKUGAKU ZASSHI-JOURNAL OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN, vol.129, no.4, pp.485-493, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The aim of this study was to document the effect of tramadol as an opioid on individual fibers of rat sciatic nerve. To accomplish this objective, compound action potentials (CAPs) were recorded from isolated nerves treated with tramadol from five different concentration levels. Then recorded CAPs and the control group were analyzed by numerical methods namely Conduction Velocity Distribution (CVD) and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). The results show that the area under CAP and the time derivative of CAP curves decreases, and the excitability of the nerve trunk falls as well (rheobase and chronaxie increases) with increasing tramadol concentration. CVD deduced by model study was divided into subgroups as SLOW (8-26 m/s), MODERATE (26-44 m/s), MEDIUM (44-60 m/s) and FAST (60-78 m/s). The decrement in percentage relative contribution of these conduction velocity groups starts with a concentration of 0.25 mM tramadol, especially in the subgroup named FAST. The power spectrum shifts from higher frequency region to lower frequency region as the tramadol concentration increases. These findings show that fast conducting fibers are more susceptible to tramadol than medium and moderate groups and tramadol possibly acts on channel activity rather than passive properties (such as space and time constant) of nerve fibers.