Catecholaminergic and opioidergic system mediated effects of reboxetine on diabetic neuropathic pain

Yucel N. T., CAN Ö. D., Ozkay U. D.

PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, vol.237, no.4, pp.1131-1145, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 237 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00213-019-05443-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Animal Behavior Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, SportDiscus, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1131-1145
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: No


Rationale Current data indicate that the noradrenergic system plays a critical role in neuropathic pain treatment. Notably, drugs that directly affect this system may have curative potential in neuropathy-associated pain. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential therapeutic efficacy of reboxetine, a potent and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, on hyperalgesia and allodynia responses in rats with experimental diabetes. Furthermore, mechanistic studies were performed to elucidate the possible mode of actions. Methods Experimental diabetes was induced by a single dose of streptozotocin. Mechanical hyperalgesia, mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia, and thermal allodynia responses in diabetic rats were evaluated by Randall-Selitto, dynamic plantar, Hargreaves, and warm plate tests, respectively. Results Reboxetine treatment (8 and 16 mg/kg for 2 weeks) demonstrated an effect comparable to that of the reference drug, pregabalin, improving the hyperalgesic and allodynic responses secondary to diabetes mellitus. Pretreatment with phentolamine, metoprolol, SR 59230A, and atropine did not alter the abovementioned effects of reboxetine; however, the administration of alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine methyl ester, propranolol, ICI-118,551, SCH-23390, sulpiride, and naltrindole significantly inhibited these effects. Moreover, reboxetine did not induce a significant difference in the rat plasma glucose levels. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the antihyperalgesic and antiallodynic effects of reboxetine are mediated by the catecholaminergic system; beta(2)-adrenoceptors; D-1-, D-2/D-3-dopaminergic receptors; and delta-opioid receptors. The results suggest that this analgesic effect of reboxetine, besides its neutral profile on glycemic control, may be advantageous in the pharmacotherapy of diabetic neuropathy-induced pain.