Effect of picrotoxin on antinociception in the formalin test
Subcutaneous injection of diluted formalin (0.25 mu l of 0.5%) caused a biphasic pain response in mice. The first phase of pain was observed during the first 5 min., while the second phase occurred 10-30 min. after formalin administration. With the formalin test, it was found that the antinociception produced by the GABA-A antagonist, picrotoxin, and the GABA-B antagonist, phaclofen, was abolished when employed in combination. The opioid antagonist naloxone and antimuscarinic atropine also decreased the picrotoxin response, However, sulpiride, SCH 23390, phenoxybenzamine and propranolol did not alter the picrotoxin response. Administration of naloxone, sulpiride and propranolol showed a pain response. The data indicate that dopaminergic and adrenergic mechanisms may not be involved in the picrotoxin antinociceptive effect. However, postsynaptic GABA-A and GABA-B may be involved in the drug effect, and involvement of opioid or cholinergic systems can not be excluded.