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1- Trakya University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Pharmacology, 22030-Edirne, TURKEY
Introduction: For centuries, cannabinoids are known to be effective in pain conditions. Itch is an unpleasant sensation that provokes a desire to scratch. Since itch and pain are two sensations sharing a lot in common, we aimed to confirm whether the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 reduce serotonin-induced scratching behavior and observe whether modulation of nitric oxide (NO) production mediates the antipruritic effect of WIN 55,212-2.
Methods: Scratching behavior is induced by intradermal injection of serotonin (50 µg/50 µl/mouse) to Balb/c mice. The cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (1, 3, 10 mg/kg, i.p.) was given 30 min before serotonin injection. To observe the effect of NO modulation on the antipruritic effect of cannabinoids, the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME (3 mg/kg, i.p.), the neuronal NOS inhibitor 7-nitroindazole (3 mg/kg, i.p.), and the NO precursor L-arginine (100 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered together with WIN 55,212-2.
Results: WIN 55,212-2 reduced serotonin-induced scratches at higher doses (3, 10 mg/kg; P < 0.0001). The endothelial NOS inhibitor L-NAME, the neuronal NOS inhibitor 7-nitroindazole, and the nitric oxide precursor L-arginine, had no influence on the antipruritic action of WIN 55,212-2. When NO modulators are used alone, only the neuronal NOS inhibitor 7-nitroindazole attenuated serotonin-induced scratches (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that exogenous cannabinoids may attenuate serotonin-induced scratches and NO does not mediate the antipruritic effect of WIN 55,212-2. On the other hand, neuronal NOS inhibition may play role in production of serotonin-induced scratches. 
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2018/03/30 | Accepted: 2019/04/29 | Published: 2018/03/15

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