This study used various experimental pain methods to investigate the effects of subacute mianserin administration on diabetes-induced neuropathic pain in rats. The effect of mianserin on hyperalgesia occurring in connection with peripheral diabetic neuropathy was examined using the Randall-Selitto (mechanical nociceptive stimulus), Hargreaves (thermal nociceptive stimulus), and cold-plate (4 degrees C, thermal nociceptive stimulus) tests. The dynamic plantar aesthesiometer, which measures the threshold values for mechanical stimuli, was used for allodynia studies. Thermal allodynia was evaluated with the warm-plate (38 degrees C) test. At 30 and 45 mg/kg, mianserin effectively improved mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia occurring in connection with diabetic neuropathy. Subacute administration of mianserin also reduced diabetes-associated mechanical and thermal allodynia. The ability of mianserin to reduce diabetic neuropathic pain was comparable to that of pregabalin (10 mg/kg). The antihyperalgesic and antiallodynic effects of mianserin were reversed with alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine methyl ester (AMPT, an inhibitor of catecholamine synthesis), phentolamine (a non-selective alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist), propranolol (a non-selective beta-adrenoceptor antagonist), and naloxone (a non-selective opioid receptor antagonist) administrations. The same effects were not reversed, however, by para-chlorophenylalanine methyl ester (PCPA; an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis). These results suggest that the beneficial effect of mianserin on diabetic neuropathic pain is mediated through an increase in catecholamine levels in the synaptic cleft as well as through interactions with both subtypes of adrenoceptors and opioid receptors. Considering that mianserin exhibits simultaneous antidepressant and antinociceptive effects, this drug could provide a good alternative for treating the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy and the mood disorders caused directly by diabetes. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.