Melatonin enhances the anticonvulsant and proconvulsant effects of morphine in mice: Role for nitric oxide signaling pathway

Epilepsy Research

Volume 2-3 - Number

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

Melatonin has different interactions with opioids including enhancing their analgesic effect and reversal of opioid tolerance and dependence. Opioids are known to exert dose-dependent anti- and proconvulsant effects in different experimental seizure paradigms. This study investigated the effect of metatonin on biphasic modulation of seizure susceptibility by morphine, in mouse model of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced clonic seizures. We further investigated the involvement of the nitric oxidergic pathway in this interaction, using a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, N-G-nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME). Metatonin exerted anticonvulsant effect with doses as high as 40-80 mg/kg, but with a dose far bellow that amount (10 mg/kg), it potentiated both the anticonvulsant and proconvulsant effects of morphine on the PTZ-induced clonic seizures. Possible pharmacokinetic interaction of melatonin and morphine cannot be ruled out in the enhancement of two opposing effects of morphine on seizure threshold. L-NAME (1 mg/kg) reversed the anticonvulsant property of the combination of melatonin (10 mg/kg) plus morphine (0.5 mg/kg). Moreover, L-NAME (5 mg/kg) blocked the enhancing effect of melatonin (10 mg/kg) on proconvulsant activity of morphine (60 mg/kg). Our results indicate that co-administration of melatonin enhances both anti- and proconvulsant effects of morphine via a mechanism that may involve the nitric oxidergic pathway. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.