Involvement of interleukin-1 beta in systemic morphine effects on paw oedema in a mouse model of acute inflammation

Scandinavian Journal of Immunology

Volume 3 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Recent studies suggest that peripheral morphine may represent a valuable treatment in acute inflammatory painful diseases through peripheral or central mechanisms. In the present study, anti-inflammatory effects of systemic morphine on carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema were examined in a model of peripheral acute oedema in mice. Carrageenan induced a time-dependent inflammation that was maximal 3 h after administration. While intraperitoneal administration of morphine sulfate at a low dose (1 mg/kg) increased carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema, intraperitoneal injection of morphine sulfate at a high dose (7 mg/kg) resulted in significant anti-inflammatory effects on carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema. These anti-inflammatory effects were blocked by pretreatment with naloxone. Measuring the serum levels of interleukin-1beta revealed that increases in serum levels of this cytokine were involved in morphine anti-inflammatory effects. Pretreatment with naloxone decreased interleukin-1beta serum levels near to those of control group. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that morphine produced pro- or anti-inflammatory effects in a dose-dependent manner through peripheral or central mechanisms. The observed anti-inflammatory effects may be due to an increase in the cytokine production and/or release by host immune systems.