Aims: In this study we tested the hypothesis that tapentadol inhibits GGRP release from the rat brainstem through a mechanism mediated by the inhibition of NA reuptake; as a second alternative hypothesis, we investigated whether tapentadol inhibits GGRP release via the inhibition of 5-HT reuptake. Methods: Rat brainstems were explanted and incubated in short-term experiments. CGRP released in the incubation medium was taken as a marker of CGRP release from the central terminals of trigeminal neurons within the brainstem. CGRP levels were measured by radioimmunoassay under basal conditions or in the presence of tapentadol; NA, 5-HT, clonidine, yohimbine and ondansetron were used as pharmacological tools to investigate the action mechanism of tapentadol. Results: The α2-antagonist yohimbine failed to counteract the effects of tapentadol. Moreover, neither NA nor the α2-agonist clonidine per se inhibited K(+)-stimulated CGRP release, thereby indicating that the effects of tapentadol are nor mediated through the block of NA reuptake. Further experiments showed that 5-HT and tramadol, which inhibits both NA and 5-HT reuptake, significantly reduced K(+)-stimulated CGRP release. Moreover, the 5-HT3 antagonist ondansetron was able to counteract the effects of tapentadol in this system. Significance: This study provided pharmacological evidence that tapentadol inhibits stimulated CGRP release from the rat brainstem in vitro through a mechanism involving an increase in 5-HT levels in the system and the subsequent activation of 5-HT3 receptors.
- Brain Stem
- Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Rats, Wistar